Apple avoids iPhone ban in India by approving regulator's anti-spam app for download from ...

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in iOS
Apple has ended a standoff with the telecommunications regulator of India, approving TRAI's anti-spam app for inclusion in the App Store, a move that also allows Apple to avoid threats from the regulator that could have led to the banning of iPhones from the country's mobile networks.

TRAI Do Not Disturb for iOS


The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)'s DND - Do Not Disturb app, is an attempt by the Indian government to cut down on the amount of unwanted marketing calls or spam text messages. Once a mobile number is registered, the app can be used to log complaints of unwanted calls, a problem that has plagued mobile users in markets around the world.

An Apple spokesperson confirmed to VentureBeat the app has gone live in the iOS App Store today.

The addition of the app to the App Store arrives after a long, protracted disagreement between Apple and TRAI over the app. While the Android version of the app launched in June 2016, the iPhone equivalent was held off from being made available due to Apple's belief it infringed too much on a user's privacy, with its policies typically preventing third-party apps from acquiring call and text log data.

One year ago, Apple advised it would work with the regulator to produce a limited version of the app that would find acceptable to distribute, but as the months rolled on, the dispute failed to be resolved.

In July, TRAI introduced new regulations that would force carriers to only use smartphones on its network that worked with spam reporting apps like TRAI DND, and to prevent devices that wouldn't work with the app from accessing the network. While TRAI could not directly ban iPhones, it did have the authority to pressure carriers into actions that would provide a similar effect.

Similar demands from TRAI were made in August, but the regulator added the possibility of challenging Apple's disobedience in court. The approval of the app effectively brings an end to the standoff.

Apple did introduce a call reporting framework in iOS 12, which enabled the creation of spam and nuisance call-reporting tools. It is unclear if TRAI's app was approved because it uses the framework and follows App Store policies, or if Apple ultimately gave in to demands.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    ... It is unclear if TRAI's app was approved because it uses the framework and follows App Store policies, or if Apple ultimately gave in to demands.
    At this day and age, I fear it's the latter. No matter your nationality, ideology, or education (I'm an engineer BTW), if you can remember high school history, you can recognize that we are frogs in a warming pot. We are just letting too much slide...
    entropysAvieshekbeowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 27
    So, is it the consumers choice to download and install this spywear, or it has to installed to be able to use an iPhone in India?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 27
    ... It is unclear if TRAI's app was approved because it uses the framework and follows App Store policies, or if Apple ultimately gave in to demands.
    At this day and age, I fear it's the latter. No matter your nationality, ideology, or education (I'm an engineer BTW), if you can remember high school history, you can recognize that we are frogs in a warming pot. We are just letting too much slide...
    No one is above the law.  You want to play in someone else's backyard, you play by their rules or don't play at all.
    airnerd
  • Reply 4 of 27
    ... It is unclear if TRAI's app was approved because it uses the framework and follows App Store policies, or if Apple ultimately gave in to demands.
    At this day and age, I fear it's the latter. No matter your nationality, ideology, or education (I'm an engineer BTW), if you can remember high school history, you can recognize that we are frogs in a warming pot. We are just letting too much slide...
    No one is above the law.  You want to play in someone else's backyard, you play by their rules or don't play at all.
    I think that is part of the point, though, right? The eroding of privacy and rights as businesses succumb to the laws of countries that don't respect them. At least that's the way I was reading it.
    tmayredraider11bb-15repressthisentropysbonobobAvieshekkingofsomewherehotbeowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 27
    ... It is unclear if TRAI's app was approved because it uses the framework and follows App Store policies, or if Apple ultimately gave in to demands.
    At this day and age, I fear it's the latter. No matter your nationality, ideology, or education (I'm an engineer BTW), if you can remember high school history, you can recognize that we are frogs in a warming pot. We are just letting too much slide...
    No one is above the law.  You want to play in someone else's backyard, you play by their rules or don't play at all.
    @Canukstorm - I think the tech industry like to believe otherwise.  Case in point: Uber.  Most countries required 'hire cars and taxis' to use special number plates etc. when Uber set up - they just ignored this regulation.  Ditto AirBnB (hotels are supposed to collect stats for gov and pay taxes per guest/night).  Tech call this 'disruptive', wheras lawyers call it 'illegal'.  Now both Uber and AirBnB co-operate a bit more with regulatory authorities, but largely they've been successful in 'disrupting' markets that were closed by regulation and created wealth for themselves and their customers (drivers/landlords) in the process - that money hasn't come from nowhere - the incumbents have had the money taken away from them by a company that just ignored the rules.

    For iPhone and AirBnB and Uber, the reason why they were successful at breaking the rules was their popularity.  In democracies the government is always reticent to move against a person or company that is extremely popular for fear of the next election results.  But that popularity has its limits.  When taxi drivers start protesting and blocking the streets or your customers are getting SPAM'd then the argument of the incumbent begins to cut through.

    I think the new framework in iOS 12 is they key here - Apple are beginning to acknowledge that SPAM is a problem.  I think they'd prefer a consumer focussed solution (eg: call block) but where they operate in a company that operates a DND register, then for consumers it makes sense to offer that as an option.
    racerhomie3Avieshekbala1234
  • Reply 6 of 27
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,633member
    Any kind of SPAM(robocalls, spam text, spam emails) must be stopped. it is anti-productivity for most of us. One good news fighting against robocalls, US cell carriers will implement STIR and SHAKEN protocols in 2019. India was adamant with Apple(or any phone maker) because the spams on phones became so abusive that government had to do something. They could ask Indian cell network provider to implement some anti-spam mechanism but app probably would be simpler.
    edited November 30 watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 27
    lennlenn Posts: 10member
    Cook and Apple once again talk a big game but when India or China threatens to cut off their big economies to them Apple bends over and grabs their ankles. So sick of everyone thinking Apple is the second coming or something. They are a "for profit" company that is driven by the almighty dollar and all that other B.S. Cook and the gang spouts about human rights, the environment, ect is just a good advertising campaign that the media has fallen for.

    Long time Mac user but still using a BB 9900. 
    kingofsomewherehot
  • Reply 8 of 27
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,516member
    ... It is unclear if TRAI's app was approved because it uses the framework and follows App Store policies, or if Apple ultimately gave in to demands.
    At this day and age, I fear it's the latter. No matter your nationality, ideology, or education (I'm an engineer BTW), if you can remember high school history, you can recognize that we are frogs in a warming pot. We are just letting too much slide...
    No one is above the law.  You want to play in someone else's backyard, you play by their rules or don't play at all.
    So when the U.S. government gets its way with an iOS backdoor you’ll be okay with that?
    bonobobAvieshekJWSCwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 27
    lkrupp said:
    ... It is unclear if TRAI's app was approved because it uses the framework and follows App Store policies, or if Apple ultimately gave in to demands.
    At this day and age, I fear it's the latter. No matter your nationality, ideology, or education (I'm an engineer BTW), if you can remember high school history, you can recognize that we are frogs in a warming pot. We are just letting too much slide...
    No one is above the law.  You want to play in someone else's backyard, you play by their rules or don't play at all.
    So when the U.S. government gets its way with an iOS backdoor you’ll be okay with that?
    If the US Government can get away with an iOS backdoor without violating the Constitution and the Bill of Rights then yes, I'd be okay with that.
  • Reply 10 of 27
    ... It is unclear if TRAI's app was approved because it uses the framework and follows App Store policies, or if Apple ultimately gave in to demands.
    At this day and age, I fear it's the latter. No matter your nationality, ideology, or education (I'm an engineer BTW), if you can remember high school history, you can recognize that we are frogs in a warming pot. We are just letting too much slide...
    No one is above the law.  You want to play in someone else's backyard, you play by their rules or don't play at all.
    I think that is part of the point, though, right? The eroding of privacy and rights as businesses succumb to the laws of countries that don't respect them. At least that's the way I was reading it.
    If Apple is a strong advocate of privacy and rights, as Tim Cook has always said, then given the current situation in India, they shouldn't do business there, period.  But if they're adamant about doing business there then they're bound by the laws like everyone else and have to hope that the political climate changes for the better.
  • Reply 11 of 27
    osmartormenajr said:

    No one is above the law.  You want to play in someone else's backyard, you play by their rules or don't play at all.
    ...in other countries. However, here, in the U.S., it’s an entirely different story. 
  • Reply 12 of 27
    bb-15bb-15 Posts: 235member
    lenn said:
    Cook and Apple once again talk a big game but when India or China threatens to cut off their big economies to them Apple bends over and grabs their ankles. So sick of everyone thinking Apple is the second coming or something. They are a "for profit" company that is driven by the almighty dollar and all that other B.S. Cook and the gang spouts about human rights, the environment, ect is just a good advertising campaign that the media has fallen for.

    Long time Mac user but still using a BB 9900. 
    What Cook is saying about privacy is not BS. It is just limited for customers in certain countries like China and India.
    Also, while a Blackberry phone may work for you, an iPhone can be much more useful to other customers.
    Considering BlackBerry’s small marketshare, I don’t think I’m the only one who believes that.

    in the end, for most smart phone users, the competition is between Apple/iOS and Google/Android.

    Typical Android phones are directing users to Google services. Google’s mines data from “free” services like Gmail, Chrome, Google Maps & Google Drive for ads. As a result Google makes most of its money from ads based on massive data mining. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/020515/business-google.asp ;

    https://bgr.com/2016/02/11/why-facebook-and-google-mine-your-data-and-why-theres-nothing-you-can-do-to-stop-it/ ;

    * Apple by contrast makes most of its money from hardware sales especially from the iPhone. 

    https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/04/08/how-apple-inc-makes-most-of-its-money.aspx

    (Apple has minor ad revenue such as with their News app. But opting out of that is easy just by not using it. Or through App Store searches which is minor level advertising compared with massive data mining which produces most of Google’s revenue.)

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 27
    mac_dog said:
    osmartormenajr said:

    No one is above the law.  You want to play in someone else's backyard, you play by their rules or don't play at all.
    ...in other countries. However, here, in the U.S., it’s an entirely different story. 
    Well, this article is about India so that's the context I made my comment
  • Reply 14 of 27
    Has anyone even tried to APP before commenting?
    1. The APP is optional. You don’t have to install it. You’re iPhone will work fine in India without it. 
    2. Even after installing it, you have to go to settings and enable it
    3. The APP makes it easy to report SPAM. In what way is this bad? When you report spam phone calls or SMS, you have to share the caller’s phone number & your phone number. How else are they going to keep track of the spammers? With a spam SMS, you have to share the content of of the message. 
    4. Once again, this is all optional. You don’t have to do any of this. 
    osmartormenajrbala1234kingofsomewherehotwatto_cobrafrantisek
  • Reply 15 of 27
    ... It is unclear if TRAI's app was approved because it uses the framework and follows App Store policies, or if Apple ultimately gave in to demands.
    At this day and age, I fear it's the latter. No matter your nationality, ideology, or education (I'm an engineer BTW), if you can remember high school history, you can recognize that we are frogs in a warming pot. We are just letting too much slide...
    No one is above the law.  You want to play in someone else's backyard, you play by their rules or don't play at all.
    I think that is part of the point, though, right? The eroding of privacy and rights as businesses succumb to the laws of countries that don't respect them. At least that's the way I was reading it.
    If Apple is a strong advocate of privacy and rights, as Tim Cook has always said, then given the current situation in India, they shouldn't do business there, period. 
    Here you go again spouting your nonsense about the lack of human rights in India. Absolutely moronic comment. Stop talking about things you have no idea about, will you?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 27
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,710moderator
    ... It is unclear if TRAI's app was approved because it uses the framework and follows App Store policies, or if Apple ultimately gave in to demands.
    At this day and age, I fear it's the latter. No matter your nationality, ideology, or education (I'm an engineer BTW), if you can remember high school history, you can recognize that we are frogs in a warming pot. We are just letting too much slide...
    No one is above the law.  You want to play in someone else's backyard, you play by their rules or don't play at all.
    I think that is part of the point, though, right? The eroding of privacy and rights as businesses succumb to the laws of countries that don't respect them. At least that's the way I was reading it.
    If Apple is a strong advocate of privacy and rights, as Tim Cook has always said, then given the current situation in India, they shouldn't do business there, period.  But if they're adamant about doing business there then they're bound by the laws like everyone else and have to hope that the political climate changes for the better.
    It can be both. You can decide not to allow your competition a clear field by going along with the rules each government imposes, unless those rules go beyond the pale.  This India requirement is actually meant to protect consumers from spam; the issue Apple likely has with it was about being forced to install it.  Partially giving in on that, by having it in the App Store, is not exactly caving to an oppressive regime.  And the reason the whole issue becomes something we talk about with respect to Apple but not Samsung and others is because Apple does choose to take a stand and push back.  The compromise between a company like Apple and a government is likely going to be better for consumers than what you get from other companies that simply remain silent and go along with whatever requirements governments impose.  That’s what Tim Cook is referring to when he says it’s better to remain engaged.  
    edited November 30 racerhomie3beowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 27
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,374member
    lkrupp said:
    ... It is unclear if TRAI's app was approved because it uses the framework and follows App Store policies, or if Apple ultimately gave in to demands.
    At this day and age, I fear it's the latter. No matter your nationality, ideology, or education (I'm an engineer BTW), if you can remember high school history, you can recognize that we are frogs in a warming pot. We are just letting too much slide...
    No one is above the law.  You want to play in someone else's backyard, you play by their rules or don't play at all.
    So when the U.S. government gets its way with an iOS backdoor you’ll be okay with that?
    If the US Government can get away with an iOS backdoor without violating the Constitution and the Bill of Rights then yes, I'd be okay with that.
    That rumble you hear is the founding fathers crying out in anguish from the grave.
    bonobobbeowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 27
    ... It is unclear if TRAI's app was approved because it uses the framework and follows App Store policies, or if Apple ultimately gave in to demands.
    At this day and age, I fear it's the latter. No matter your nationality, ideology, or education (I'm an engineer BTW), if you can remember high school history, you can recognize that we are frogs in a warming pot. We are just letting too much slide...
    Referencing education, and then you include that ol’ myth about frogs thermoregulation? Hmmm :wink: 
    kingofsomewherehottokyojimuwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 27
    svanstrom said:
    ... It is unclear if TRAI's app was approved because it uses the framework and follows App Store policies, or if Apple ultimately gave in to demands.
    At this day and age, I fear it's the latter. No matter your nationality, ideology, or education (I'm an engineer BTW), if you can remember high school history, you can recognize that we are frogs in a warming pot. We are just letting too much slide...
    Referencing education, and then you include that ol’ myth about frogs thermoregulation? Hmmm :wink: 
    Dumb... I'm only referring to a well known analogy, used weekly by most media outlets, just to make a point. I assume you are a biologist... and out of a job! Find another target to vent your frustration.
    beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 20 of 27
    mac_dog said:
    osmartormenajr said:

    No one is above the law.  You want to play in someone else's backyard, you play by their rules or don't play at all.
    ...in other countries. However, here, in the U.S., it’s an entirely different story. 
    How so?

    In the U.S. Apple is required to do certain things if it wants to sell products, and as far as I'm aware it does those things. Do you mean to suggest otherwise?
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