The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has put iPhone sales in jeopardy with their new rules regarding user privacy and spam. The new regulations may cause the deactivation of millions of iPhones throughout the country.
The regulations are being issued in response to the on-going spam epidemic going on in India. A woman was killed after rumors about her involvement with a gang that kidnapped children. The rumor traveled through the Facebook-owned app WhatsApp. So far, 5 people have been lynched in similar WhatsApp rumor cases. The Indian government is trying to combat these crimes by enforcing harsher regulations.
“Every Access Provider shall ensure, within six months’ time, that all smartphone devices registered on its network support the permissions required for the functioning of such Apps as prescribed in the regulations 6(2)(e) and regulations 23(2)(d). Provided that where such devices do not permit functioning of such Apps as prescribed in regulations 6(2)(e) and regulations 23(2)(d), Access Providers shall, on the order or direction of the Authority, derecognize such devices from their telecom networks,” the regulation states.
In simpler terms, Apple has 6-months to change its iOS software to comply with the new regulation. Apple must offer the DND that allows users to block spam and unwanted messages and phone calls.
In response to the policy, The Indian Cellular Association spoke out against the regulator for seeking access to the DND apps.
The ICA issued the following statement:
“Even though the ICA appreciates the intentions of TRAI in this regard, it is clear from the TRAI Act that the powers conferred to the Hon’ble Authority under the said Act are limited to regulating telecom service providers or licensees. There has been no precedent in the past wherein the TRAI has attempted to regulate device manufacturers, simply because the Authority realizes that its powers in this regard are limited by the statute.”
Millions of iPhone sales are in jeopardy for Apple.
Featured Image via Flickr/Janitors