Threatened by the TRAI, Apple is finally implementing the anti-spam measures for iPhones in India. TRAI has warned Apple to ban iPhones from the country’s cellular network if the company didn’t approve a government-developed Do Not Disturb app by January 2019. With the deadline approaching fast, Apple has finally implemented and the app is available on App Store.
The app is named ‘TRAI DND – Do Not Disturb’ promises to help users curb unwanted phone calls and text messages — an issue that has become hugely problematic within the country. The app combats by letting users join a “do not disturb” registry and allowing them to report unwanted contacts. Google allowed the app in its Play Store back in 2016 and the app was being updated to 2.0 earlier this year.
Citing the privacy concerns, Apple didn’t allow the app to be released on the App Store though it agreed to cooperate on a version of the app that wouldn’t share a user’s call or message logs with Indian authorities. At the moment, it is unclear the version of DND that is released in the App Store follows the additional privacy protections beyond what was originally devised by TRAI.
The registration process appears to leverage the SMS/Call Reporting framework Apple recently introduced into iOS, as it ties reporting directly into the Phones and Messages applications. It only shares specific spam content with authorities. After users select spam calls or messages, DND will auto-create complaint text messages and send them to the appropriate carrier for processing. The TRAI-DND app is already available on App Store and requires iOS 12.1 or later.