Published: Thu, August 10, 2017
Research | By Jo Caldwell

Trai questions 3rd party right over user-generated data

Trai questions 3rd party right over user-generated data

An Indian regulatory body has described Apple as "anti-consumer" after the Cupertino company refused to approve a government Do-Not-Disturb app created to block and report unwanted sales calls ... "They have not done anything", Sharma told TOI. "While Google's Android supports our Do-Not-Disturb (DND) app, Apple has just been discussing, discussing, and discussing".

The Trai official said now when a person downloads a mobile app on his phone, the app seeks access to all kind of details including phone book, camera, location among others even though the app is not related to all these. The customer can report these unwanted calls and messages to Trai, following which action could be taken.

Noting that there is a global trend in the creation of new services on the basis of data which provide significant value to customers, and businesses, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India today issued a consultation paper on "Privacy, Security and Ownership of the Data in the Telecom Sector". "If a customer wants to share financial transaction data with his/her bank, for getting a loan, why should it not be allowed?"

Sharma, who was speaking on the sidelines of Digital India Foundation event, said questions like these are important in the current context of a digital world where data is a "currency, a property and valuable".

Apple has not responded to comment on the matter and is still believed to remain in continued negotiations with Trai.

Should government or its authorized authority setup a data sandbox, which allows the regulated companies to create anonymized data sets which can be used for the development of newer services?

Apple has not publicly commented on the issue, but giving unrestricted access to such information is a significant privacy concern.

Comments on the paper, which has a dozen questions aimed at identifying the scope and definition of personal data, ownership and control of data of users of telecom services and assessing the adequacy and efficiency of data protection measures now in place, have been sought by September 8 and counter-comments by September 22.

"There is a more fundamental question about data ownership".

The regulator in the consultation paper on privacy, security and ownership of the data in the telecom sector has sought public views on data protection in relation to the delivery of digital services. "It is my data".

He said an individual needs to have control over the data being generated by him or her, and also have the freedom to share it with whoever he/she wants to share with. Should the User's consent be taken before sharing his/her personal data for commercial purposes? "It is not Apple's data, it is not the data of a telephone manufacturer", Sharma said.

Q. 9 What are the key issues of data protection pertaining to the collection and use of data by various other stakeholders in the digital ecosystem, including content and application service providers, device manufacturers, operating systems, browsers, etc?

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