Apple is still refusing to allow the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) anti-spam Do Not Disturb app on the App Store. The app purportedly fights spam, by reporting such messages and calls directly to TRAI, and is available on the Play Store.
Apple has been refusing to allow the app on the App Store citing privacy violations. TRAI claims that the app violates no privacy norms. Bloomberg quotes TRAI chairman Ram Sewak Sharma as saying that, “It is a ridiculous situation, no company can be allowed to be the guardian of a user’s data.”
The TRAI DND app requires access to a great deal of user data, including location information, access to call and message logs, the ability to read messages, access to the media library, Device ID, full network access, etc. While a number of third-party apps on the App Store and Play Store ask for and receive most of these permissions, the DND app’s requirement for text message data is likely violating Apple’s privacy policies.
Sharma states that TRAI has engaged in talks with Apple numerous times on this issue, to no avail. The report adds that TRAI is now floating a consultation paper on “users’ control over their personal information and rules on the flow of data through telecommunications networks.” Sharma says that the rules could be formed based on the findings and that they could be incorporated as “part of the telecom licensing process.”
It must be noted that the TRAI DND 2.0 app on the Play Store isn't particularly good. With a rating of just 2/5 and 836 out of 1231 reviews going for a one-star rating, TRAI has a lot to fix.
Primarily, the reviewers complain that the app is buggy, doesn't connect to the internet and that the reporting process is as good as useless.
Apple is yet to officially comment on the matter.