Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) Chairman R S Sharma on Thursday expressed his disappointment with the “unreasonable” stance of Apple
not allowing the regulator's pesky call reporting app on the iOS platform and asserted the issue is about users having control over their own data and not one of privacy.
Sharma told PTI that in the past few days, ever since the issue was flagged by the regulator, there has been "a couple of e-mails" from the company and some "activity".
The regulator — which has been exchanging e-mails with the global technology giant for over a year to find a solution to the impasse — is still open to discussions on the Do Not Disturb (DND) app issue, which it feels is all about consumers’ interest and users' rights on their own data.
"I have said to our team, please discuss the issue with them (Apple) and find a solution to the problem. We are not here to oppose anyone," Sharma said, adding that Trai
had never shied away from a dialogue with any stakeholder.
Stating that he was "disappointed" with the outcome so far, especially since the talks with Apple
have been going on for nearly a year, the Trai
chief said, "Our conclusion is that their approach has not been helpful and that they have been adopting dilatory tactics."
An e-mail sent to Apple
on the issue remained unanswered till the time of filing of the story.
Meanwhile, Sharma said the issue of users' rights over their own data was distinct from privacy.
"Let us not confuse the issue (DND issue) with privacy... the issue here is about user's ownership of his/her own data and their ability to share that data consciously with the regulator and third party," he said.
The comment comes against the backdrop of the regulator's ongoing tussle with Apple
that, according to Trai, is not allowing the DND app on its iOS platform.
app allows users to flag pesky calls and unsolicited messages from telemarketers directly to the regulator, and Google's Android operating system supports the app.
However, for Trai, talks with Apple
have not yielded any result and the app is not on the latter's app store.
The regulator, on Wednesday, kicked off discussions on privacy, security and ownership of data in the telecom sector and market watchers believe one of the triggers could have been the regulator's displeasure over the ongoing episode and the larger question relating to ownership.
Clarifying that the Trai
app does not involve a blanket sharing of call logs or SMSes, Sharma said the app is designed in such a way that users can complain about pesky calls and messages by "consciously sharing details of SMS or calls in case of a complaint".
However, the regulator is not contemplating any "action" as of now on the matter, he said, responding to a specific query.