The regulator is currently seeking public and stakeholder comments on a consultative paper on users’ control over their personal information and rules on the flow of data through telecommunications networks. The process, scheduled to be completed in September, could eventually lead to new rules governing user data. That could also become part of the telecom licensing process, Sharma said.
In 2016, Apple shipped 2.5 million iPhones in India, and this year one of its suppliers began assembling a limited number of iPhones in Bangalore. So far, India's government has declined Apple's request to import used iPhones and has yet to respond to the company's other demands.
"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."