Apple and the Indian government have been in a long-standing battle over an anti-spam app that has been designed to curb the menace of spam calls and messages, but the iPhone maker sees it as a violation of user privacy. The company had approached the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for more consultation on the inclusion of the Do Not Disturb (DND) app in the App Store.
In the latest development, Apple has reportedly agreed to give limited assistance to the Indian government to develop the anti-spam app for its iOS platform. According to a Reuters report, after refusing to give help to the government to develop the app, Apple has now told officials that it would help develop the app, however with limited capabilities.
The app in question was first launched on Android last year, but Apple had been reserved about it owing to privacy concerns as the app has the ability to access to call and text logs to curb spam. ALSO READ: Apple iPhone X’s Face ID fooled again, this time by a 10-year-old
Now, Apple has told the government that its current iOS platform might now allow for some of the requirements of the app, such as making call logs available within the app that would allow users to report them as spam. “They (Apple) will help develop an app which, to an extent, can solve the requirements,” an Apple official is quoted as saying.
By agreeing to help the government, the company is not changing its stance on user privacy. Apple said that it had taken time to develop a privacy-friendly solution to help curb spam messages and calls. ALSO READ: Apple approaches TRAI over DND app that accesses private messages
The DND app, which boasts over 100,000 downloads from the Google Play Store, asks the user to allow it access to contacts and view text messages. Users can then start reporting numbers as spam, the data of which is sent to the regulator. While the industry sources say the app accesses a user’s call log, TRAI has defended the app saying it does not raise any privacy concerns.