Being a globally dominant tech brand means playing nice with regulatory bodies wherever they exist and navigating those treacherous waters is something even Apple seems to have trouble doing. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is providing us with the latest example of this shortcoming, and the group is taking Apple to task over its refusal to allow a custom-made do-not-call app to be installed on iOS devices sold in the country.
As reported by The Times of India, the country’s regulatory body is extremely unhappy with the way Apple is dragging its feet. “While Google’s Android supports our Do-Not-Disturb (DND) app, Apple has just been discussing, discussing, and discussing. They have not done anything,” TRAI chairman R.S. Sharma told The Times. “They are anti-consumer and they are really not caring for their customers who could have been saved from pesky calls and unwanted messages.”
The app is effectively a call blocker for numbers associated with call spammers and robocallers, but it performs this function by utilizing the user’s call logs and messaging history. TRAI’s stance is that as long as the consumer is okay with sharing that information they should be allowed to do so for the purposes of tagging and blocking troublesome calls and texts.
Apple hasn’t directly addressed the controversy in any meaningful way, but the company is reportedly still in talks with TRAI over the possible implementation of the app. It’s worth noting that Apple just recently came under fire for bowing to regulators in China over the removal of VPN apps, stating that it had no other choice but to fall in line with the laws set forth by the Chinese government. Now, it seems, it is in hot water for not doing the same in India.