Telecom regulator TRAI has questioned the control of third-party entities such as App Stores to limit mobile users right over their own data in the name of data security and privacy. TRAI Chairman R S Sharma said the question is who owns data like call logs and messages that a user receives on his/her mobile, and whether third-party entities can actually extinguish the users right over such data. He said that TRAI will release a discussion paper on the issue in a day or two. Also Read - Meet Indian developer who wins Apple Design award for his music app NaadSadhanaAlso Read - iPad Mini for 2021 to ditch fat bezels, could bring along new Apple Pencil Mini
The comment comes in the backdrop of the regulator s ongoing tussle with Apple that is reportedly not allowing convergence of the TRAI s Do-Not-Disturb app on its iOS platform. TRAI s app allows users to flag pesky calls and unsolicited messages directly to the regulator as it pulls out such details from messages and call logs. While Google s Android OS supports the TRAI app, the regulator s talks with Apple have reportedly not yielded much results. Refusing to name specific companies or platforms, Sharma said, The larger issue is who owns data generated by a mobile user, what are their rights, and whether any other entity can extinguish his (user s) right on the data in the name of securing it.” Also Read - iOS 4 is now available again on modern iPhones, complete with Home button: How to get it
Sharma, who was speaking on the sidelines of Digital India Foundation event, said questions like these are important in the current context of a digital world where data is a currency, a property and valuable. What can be the objection of a third party, if the user wants to willing share his data, Sharma quipped adding that a consultation paper will be issued in 1-2 days. Replying to a specific question on Apple not supporting the TRAI s app, Sharma said that be it any store, my basic question is who has the right over that data and can a third party a store owner limit my right on data that is my property . ALSO READ: TRAI invites speed test firms to help improve MySpeed app
Sharma argued that given that SMS and call logs belong to a mobile user, a third-party could not take control of such data in the name of data privacy or security. When contacted, an Apple spokesperson pointed to the company s privacy website, which quotes its global CEO Tim Cook as saying that Apple is committed to protecting its customer s privacy. RELATED: Apple CEO Tim Cook bullish and very optimistic about India
Finally, I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will, he said. Industry sources said Apple s objections may be stemming from the company s concerns around privacy and encryption of the information.