Apple’s refusal to approve India’s anti-spam app could cause problems for the company’s efforts to expand its sales in the country, Bloomberg reports. Apple has thus far refused to make the Telecom Regulatory Authority’s app — which blocks annoying unsolicited calls and texts — available on the App Store, drawing the ire of the TRAI’s leadership. Apple doesn’t permit third-party apps to access SMS details and call records, which are necessary for the app to function, but the TRAi is currently taking public comments ahead of drafting new policies about how much control users have over their personal information.
Half a billion smartphones are expected to be sold in the country by 2020, and Apple has been pushing hard to make the most of that market, even relocating some of its production facilities there in an effort to gain more access. But the company is among the most vocal advocates for protecting user data, and that could seriously complicate its expansion into India if the country drafts new regulations that require it to violate its current privacy policies. Ram Sewak Sharma, chairman of the TRAI, has called the situation ridiculous, claiming that Apple has no right to be the “guardian of a user’s data.” “The problem of who controls user data is getting acute and we have to plug the loose ends,” Sharma said. “This is not the regulator versus Apple, but Apple versus its own users.”