Spat between Apple & India over 'Do Not Disturb' app could lead to new data rules

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in iPhone
The impasse between Apple and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India over the country's "Do Not Disturb" app could be swung by future rules that would force Apple to allow it, a report suggested on Wednesday.




The TRAI is currently asking for public and stakeholder comments on a paper over user control of personal data, as well as data flow through networks, Bloomberg said. The process should finish later this month, and could eventually result in new rules and licensing arrangements.

Personal data is the primary reason Apple has yet to allow the app on the App Store. While the Android version can access SMS and call logs for sharing phone numbers with the TRAI, Apple's rules prevent third-party software from having that kind of access, even with user consent.

Talking to Bloomberg, TRAI chairman Ram Sewak Sharma argued that Apple's policies allow sharing user data with affiliates and strategic partners, and that Do Not Disturb would require only pre-approved sharing of a limited amount of information.

"Nobody's asking Apple to violate its privacy policy," said Sharma. "It is a ridiculous situation, no company can be allowed to be the guardian of a user's data."

Sharma noted that the government has met with Apple six times on the matter without progress.

"The problem of who controls user data is getting acute and we have to plug the loose ends," he added. "This is not the regulator versus Apple, but Apple versus its own users."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    The impasse between Apple and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India over the country's "Do Not Disturb" app could be swung by future rules that would force Apple to allow it, a report suggested on Wednesday.




    While the Android version can access SMS and call logs for sharing phone numbers with the TRAI, Apple's rules prevent third-party software from having that kind of access, even with user consent.
    --------
     TRAI chairman Ram Sewak Sharma argued that Apple's policies allow sharing user data with affiliates and strategic partners, and that Do Not Disturb would require only pre-approved sharing of a limited amount of information.
    ------
    "Nobody's asking Apple to violate its privacy policy," said Sharma. "It is a ridiculous situation, no company can be allowed to be the guardian of a user's data."
    ------
    "The problem of who controls user data is getting acute and we have to plug the loose ends," he added. "This is not the regulator versus Apple, but Apple versus its own users."
    Is it just me, or that guy is just NOT GETTING IT?
    Why is it only a problem in India, when it comes to "loose ends" and that urge to "plug" them? Why no one urges to plug those aforementioned "ends" here, in the US of A?
    Sigh...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 19
    They like control (The Indian Govt). And most likely ability to profit form access...maybe?
    edited September 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 19
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 1,029member
     "It is a ridiculous situation, no company can be allowed to be the guardian of a user's data."
    So no cloud backups, credit services, banks, home deliveries, telecom and data, and the list goes on -- most companies that do business with you can no longer store even your name or address and thus must become government agencies or cease to exist?
    longpathtoysandmeStrangeDayspscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 19
    "[N]o company can be allowed to be the guardian of a user's data."

    Wow. That just speaks volumes, doesn't it?
    longpathdoozydozenStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 19
    I despise that TRAI chairman's position on privacy - but I kind of admire his skillful use of rhetoric. 

    I hope Apple sticks to its guns on this issue - even if it means pulling out of the Indian market. They must know a whole host of other countries/state agencies are watching this very closely. 
    edited September 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 19
    Too soon to write off India as a total loss?
  • Reply 7 of 19
    Too soon to write off India as a total loss?
    I think the regulators there are feeling very confident after Google and Xiaomi launched the M1 A1 in India last night, the beginning of a 40 country distribution blitz.
    Google don't care about user privacy so they are happy to share anything and everything with who ever asks them nicely. Or even looks at them twice at a party....
    mike54watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 19
    Google absolutely does care about user privacy. If users are allowed privacy it would severely damage their ability to track them. Google and privacy have an inverse relationship. 
    anton zuykovanantksundaramStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 19
    ben20ben20 Posts: 126member
    I bet Apple will comply with the India government, they already do with the Chinese
    anantksundaram
  • Reply 10 of 19
    cincytee said:
    "[N]o company can be allowed to be the guardian of a user's data."

    Wow. That just speaks volumes, doesn't it?
    It does. I would rather have Apple guarding my data than some government agency. 
    edited September 2017 anton zuykovStrangeDayspscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 19
    ZooMigo said:
    Google absolutely does care about user privacy. If users are allowed privacy it would severely damage their ability to track them. Google and privacy have an inverse relationship. 
    That is true. And recent events with Google and censorship have demonstrated that beyond any doubt.
    mike54watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 19
    I applaud Apple for being firm about its privacy policy!  I think it's a better idea to spend extra effort to report aggravating callers, as opposed to letting the government have access to my text messages and call log.  Where DID I put that letter from the Office of Personnel Management?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 19
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,259member
    lostkiwi said:
    I think the regulators there are feeling very confident after Google and Xiaomi launched the M1 A1 in India last night
    I was fortunate enough to get an M1-A1 in great condition and restore it. It's a beauty. 


    ben20 said:
    I bet Apple will comply with the India government, they already do with the Chinese
    I think you're right. It disappoints me to see it happen, but I agree that Apple will comply.
  • Reply 14 of 19
    rcfarcfa Posts: 1,124member
    Anyone cares to describe what exactly that app does, and why it needs user data?
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 19
    rcfa said:
    Anyone cares to describe what exactly that app does, and why it needs user data?
    The app allows phone users to report phone numbers that send spam messages/calls. Beyond all the needless rhetoric (from the TRAI chairman) about ownership of user data, the issue is simply whether any 3rd party app should be able to access user data (in this case call logs) even if it is meant to protect the user and is with the user's permission.

    I applaud Apple for taking a hard line here and refusing to open Pandora's box as an innocuous request may eventually lead to more serious demands restricting user privacy (like the FBI's demand for a backdoor to the iPhone).

    At the same time, anyone that has used a phone in India would realize (as I did) how acute the spam problem is. I received enough spam messages to bury my real text messages and it was quite a task to continuously delete the spam. It is creditable that the Indian govt is trying to address the issue, at least. For the unaware, the TRAI has, to its credit, stood firmly on the side of users & privacy in the past and blocked FaceBook's internet.org project in India in the interest of net neutrality.

    Maybe Apple could build its own app replicating the functionality of the govt's app and eliminate the need to provide the govt access to user data? Might be a win-win, even if it involves extra effort for Apple.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 19
    linkman said:
     "It is a ridiculous situation, no company can be allowed to be the guardian of a user's data."
    So no cloud backups, credit services, banks, home deliveries, telecom and data, and the list goes on -- most companies that do business with you can no longer store even your name or address and thus must become government agencies or cease to exist?
    Your statement/hypothesis is not even remotely close to the real issue here, which is whether Apple should block apps from accessing user data even if the access is very limited and the user explicitly provides access permission.
  • Reply 17 of 19
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 1,029member
    foams said:
    linkman said:
     "It is a ridiculous situation, no company can be allowed to be the guardian of a user's data."
    So no cloud backups, credit services, banks, home deliveries, telecom and data, and the list goes on -- most companies that do business with you can no longer store even your name or address and thus must become government agencies or cease to exist?
    Your statement/hypothesis is not even remotely close to the real issue here, which is whether Apple should block apps from accessing user data even if the access is very limited and the user explicitly provides access permission.
    My point is that Sharma is being stupid. Apparently some other members here agree.
  • Reply 18 of 19
    foams said:
    rcfa said:
    Anyone cares to describe what exactly that app does, and why it needs user data?
    The app allows phone users to report phone numbers that send spam messages/calls. Beyond all the needless rhetoric (from the TRAI chairman) about ownership of user data, the issue is simply whether any 3rd party app should be able to access user data (in this case call logs) even if it is meant to protect the user and is with the user's permission.

    I applaud Apple for taking a hard line here and refusing to open Pandora's box as an innocuous request may eventually lead to more serious demands restricting user privacy (like the FBI's demand for a backdoor to the iPhone).

    At the same time, anyone that has used a phone in India would realize (as I did) how acute the spam problem is. I received enough spam messages to bury my real text messages and it was quite a task to continuously delete the spam. It is creditable that the Indian govt is trying to address the issue, at least. For the unaware, the TRAI has, to its credit, stood firmly on the side of users & privacy in the past and blocked FaceBook's internet.org project in India in the interest of net neutrality.

    Maybe Apple could build its own app replicating the functionality of the govt's app and eliminate the need to provide the govt access to user data? Might be a win-win, even if it involves extra effort for Apple.
    If the spam problem is unique to India, it sounds as if there is another source cause. 
  • Reply 19 of 19
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    ben20 said:
    I bet Apple will comply with the India government, they already do with the Chinese
    Chinese don't have access to the Iphone so not sure what your talking about.
    watto_cobra
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