Top telcom regulator in India angry over Apple’s slow review of government’s ‘do not disturb’ app

The head of India’s Telecom Regulatory Authority is taking Apple to task for refusing to approve an official government “do not disturb” app for iOS, The Times of India reports. The app serves to block annoying unsolicited calls and texts, and TRAI chairman R.S. Sharma claimed Apple is engaging in “anti-consumer” actions by not approving it. “So basically you (Apple) are violating the right of the user to willingly share his/her own data with the regulator or with any third party of his/her choice. If a customer wants to share financial transaction data with his/her bank, for getting a loan, why should it not be allowed?” Sharma said. “This is what we call data colonization.”
Google’s Android system already supports the app, which accesses the device’s SMS details and call records to enable users to report numbers and block numbers that have been reported. But Apple doesn’t provide apps the ability to access those details to third-party apps, so the government’s app won’t function even though iOS does feature other apps that identify and block calls through other means. Apple didn’t comment on the story, but Sharma said discussions on the issue have been ongoing for at least a year. [via AppleInsider]


Dan Pye was a news editor at iLounge. He's been involved with technology his whole life, and started writing about it in 2009. He's written about everything from iPhone and iPad cases to Apple TV accessories.