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Last Updated : Jul 23, 2018 07:32 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Apple may take legal action against TRAI bid to block handsets

TRAI had stipulated that telcos will have to shut down handsets that do not permit its do-not-disturb app to be downloaded

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US phonemaker Apple may drag the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to court over the latter’s new rules about its 'Do Not Disturb' app unveiled on Thursday.

TRAI had stipulated that telcos will have to shut down handsets that do not permit its do-not-disturb app to be downloaded.

Sources told the Economic Times that the regulator has exceeded its jurisdiction by doing so and Apple may take legal action against it. They added that the regulator cannot “legally force telcos to take any action which is not in their ambit like barring handsets from their network”.

While Android phones already have this feature, Apple’s iOS 12 software update is expected to come with this extension, which allows users to report unwanted calls and messages. Apple has informed TRAI of the new update to be launched in September.

The iPhone maker told TRAI that even though it respects user consent, it cannot violate its own privacy policy and allow any access to call logs and messages to any application. Therefore, the company has refused to carry the DND app in its app store.

Apple was accused of acting like a ‘data colonizer’ and ‘anti-consumer’ by TRAI chairman RS Sharma. He said a user’s data should be owned by the individual and handset makers should not have any right to prevent the user from disclosing it to any one of their choices.

The newest TRAI rules make it mandatory for all handset makers to allow downloading of its DND app and similar ones that the regulator has certified. If this is not complied with, TRAI has asked telcos to bar those devices from their network within six months.

The app has been downloaded by 1 lakh people so far and is rated at 2.6.

Not just Apple, industry bodies that represent telcos and handset companies have said telcos do not have legal authority to bar handsets from their networks.

Calling it an impractical rule, industry bodies have said telcos would have to review more than a billion phones and apps within them.
First Published on Jul 23, 2018 02:06 pm
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