The US technology company Apple will have to bear the brunt of a crackdown in India if it refuses to install a pesky call report app on its iPhones within the next six months. Mobile operators in India may be forced to shut down Apple iPhones on their networks if the American tech firm does not agree to install the said app on its phones, said an Economic Times report, adding that the company has steadfastly refused to do so despite telecom regulator Trai’s displeasure over its refusal.
According to the report, things are likely to change now with Trai coming out with a new regulation that asks companies to provide an app which allows subscribers to report pesky calls and messages. The parties concerned, however, must be given a “reasonable opportunity of representing against the contravention of regulations,” the report said
Telecom regulator Trai’s order on a mandatory pesky call app needs to be adhered to within six months, failing which there could be serious repercussions, the report said, referring to a clause tucked away in Trai’s voluminous 113-page ‘Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulation’ that says, “Every access provider shall ensure, within six months’ time, that all smart-phone devices registered on its network support the permissions required for functioning of such apps.”
The report further adds, “Provided that where such devices do not permit functioning of such apps as prescribed in regulations… access providers (mobile operators) shall, on the order or direction of the (telecom) authority, de-recognize such devices from their telecom networks.”
Although Google’s Android has agreed to carry Trai’s do-not-disturb (DND) app on its devices, the issue has been a thorny one with Apple which reportedly does not want to install it.
Trai chairman R S Sharma reportedly accused Apple of engaging in “data colonisation” in August last year. Things are yet to get sorted even now, despite several discussions between Apple and Trai officials, the ET report said.
It referred to a ToI report that said that the latter has learnt that Apple has filed a fresh proposal with the Trai last month, offering an in-house solution, but the regulator has so far not agreed to that.
The US phone major is reportedly saying that privacy of its customers is of utmost importance, and “cannot be compromised” at any cost.
However, Trai’s new regulation reportedly says that such an app either needs to be the one provided by Trai “or by any other person or entity and approved by the (telecom) authority.” The move will force Apple to either agree to carry the app, or else have an in-house app which needs to find approval of Trai, said the report referring to sources.