Apple to assist the Indian government in developing an anti-spam iOS app

A new report Wednesday claims Apple’s “finally agreed” to assist the Indian government in developing an anti-spam mobile app for iPhone and iPad.

Unsolicited marketing calls and texts are a big problem in India. While customers there have the option to register their phone number with a do not disturb service to block marketers, businesses have gamed the system by using multiple phone numbers for promotions.

While Apple initially refused to help create the app due to privacy concerns, according to sources and documents seen by Reuters, it’ll now give “limited help” to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to develop an iOS version of the government app.

The software debuted on Android last year. Called Do Not Disturb, the Android version has been downloaded more than 100,000 times thus far.

Apple was initially concerned that an app with access to call and text logs could compromise its customers’ privacy, claims the report. “Facing public criticism from the regulator, Apple executives flew to New Delhi last month and told officials the company would help develop the app, but only with limited capabilities,” reads the report.

Apple’s executives have told government officials that the iOS platform might not allow for making call logs available within the app. Still, iOS’s CallKit framework that powers third-party Phone extensions could aid in identifying spam and robot calls on the Lock screen.

Be that as it may, an Apple spokesman did confirm that these iOS features would help the government build the app. The spokesman added that Apple had not changed its stance on privacy while analysts commented that Apple was unlikely to agree to any requests specific to India “because of the precedent that would set.”