Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has accused iPhone maker Apple of engaging in “data colonisation” in the country and being “anti-consumer” by not allowing customers to pass on details about spam calls and unwanted messages to authorities as well as their mobile operators.
“While Google’s Android supports our Do-Not-Disturb (DND) app, Apple has just been discussing, discussing, and discussing. They have not done anything,” chairman of TRAI, R S Sharma, told Times of India. He added that the matter has remained unresolved over the last one year.
The Telecom regulator had in June last year launched the Do-Not-Disturb mobile app to have an effective control over the unwanted calls and SMS. However, Apple has not allowed it on the iOS platform.
So basically you (Apple) are violating the right of the user to willingly share his/her own data with the regulator or with any third party of his/her choice. If a customer wants to share financial transaction data with his/her bank, for getting a loan, why should it not be allowed? This is what we call data colonisationR S Sharma, TRAI Chairman
The DND app enables the customers to procure SMS and call details and further to report the number sending unsolicited messages or making pesky calls straight to Trai from the app, following which action could be taken.
There is a more fundamental question about data ownership. While data privacy and data security are very important issues, there is also a fundamental issue about data ownership over hereR S Sharma, TRAI Chairman
According to authorities, a detailed questionnaire sent to Apple over the matter remained unanswered.
“They are anti-consumer and they are really not caring for their customers who could have been saved from pesky calls and unwanted messages,” Sharma added. It is the customer who should have the last right over the data that he or she is generating, he added.
However, reports also suggest that the American tech giant is engaged in deliberations with the regulator over the matter.