TRAI’s DND app now on Apple App Store

By Author  |  Published: 2nd Dec 2018  7:00 pm

Apple puts a spam-filtering app ‘Do Not Disturb’ on its iOS App Store, months after regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) threatened to ban iPhones, if the firm did not approve the app by January 2019.

The app, called ‘TRAI DND-Do Not Disturb’, aims to help Indian users curb unsolicited marketing phone calls and text messages, an issue that has become hugely problematic in the past few years.

Unwanted calls were tackled with TRAI’s initial release of DND which Google allowed in its Google Play Store back in 2016. However, Cupertino-based Apple wouldn’t allow the app to be released to iOS users, citing privacy concerns, 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.

It was not clear, if the current version of ‘TRAI DND-Do Not Disturb’ app released in the Apple App Store implements additional privacy protections beyond what was originally devised by the TRAI.

The registration process appears to leverage the SMS/Call Reporting framework, Apple recently introduced into iOS, tying reporting directly into the Phone and Messages applications and sharing only specific spam content with authorities.