Trai has long been in a tussle with the Cupertino based phone manufacturer Apple for including a clause which requires the phone manufacturers to grant the access to call logs, SMS and other related data to the DND app, which will be used to stop pesky calls. In this new turn of event, Trai has made the clause mandatory. In a Corrigendum drafted on May 30, Trai said: “Every access provider shall ensure that all devices registered on its network shall support all permissions required for the functioning of such apps as prescribed in the Regulations 6 (2) (e) and regulations 24 (2).”
The abovementioned clause 6 in the Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulation, 2018 deals with the telcos’ arrangements to facilitate registration of complaints, change in choice of subscribers, mode of filing complaints or registration required to bar pesky calls and SMSes.
In order file, a complaint against pesky call subscribers will have to quote the number, date and time along with the purpose of the call.
The US-based company has been in a tug of war with Trai on the issue for quite some time. Apple has been of the view that providing access to call logs and SMS to the DND app would mean jeopardising public data and privacy. While the industry body here in India is of the thought that the issue should be resolved by the regulator on its part instead of waiting for the phone manufacturer to act.
COAI Director General, Rajan Matthews said “We have to ask ourselves a question what is the legal implication of this order. Apple can sue us. This is a matter of legal enforcement on handsets. The intent behind this is make Apple do what they have been trying do, put their (Trai DND) app on their App store.”
The regulation which was proposed is open for consultation and also open for public comment until June 11.
Rajan Matthews said that when US government had an issue with Apple, they approached the court to resolve it and didn’t approach network operators to prohibit Apple on their network. Also, it is noteworthy that Apple phones account for mere 4% of the total smartphone sales in India. The overall 95% is made up by Samsung, OnePlus and Apple together.
The proposal that has been put forth outlines that the customers should have the right to revoke permission that they have granted to any commercial entity via mobile app, SMS or website and the same should reflect on the blockchain software in 24 hours. Trai will also put a penalty on Rs 1,000 to Rs 76 lakh per month on violators depending on the degree violation. The regulator will also avail all the functions which users can exercise on a mobile application.
Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.