Thursday, August 24, 2017

TRAI’s Spat With Apple Over App Access to Messages and Call Logs

Roopesh Chander:

I think Apple is highly unlikely to create public APIs to access call logs or messages, but that’s not really needed for an app like this.

Rather, Apple could provide a way to share an SMS through a share sheet, so a third-party app can get access to all relevant fields of an SMS message (i.e. body text, sender id and timestamp) that the user explicitly chose to share with the app. That way, TRAI can create an app to report errant SMS messages, while Apple can retain their right to not give apps blanket access to the phone’s SMS data.

So this is how I think TRAI and Apple can settle this without compromising either party’s positions, and simultaneously keep Apple’s privacy-conscious customers happy as well.

Update (2017-11-15): Tim Hardwick:

Apple has agreed to help the Indian government develop an anti-spam app for iOS devices, after initially refusing to do so because of privacy concerns, according to Reuters.

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Or they just do it all carrier-side where they get even more data which is not allowed to be shown to the user (e.g. ANI). This is how the US carriers are doing it. (AT&T Call Protect for example)

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