IT ministry withdraws compliance letter sent to Apple over iMessage platform

NEW DELHI: The IT ministry is learnt to have withdrawn a letter sent to iPhone maker Apple seeking compliance of iMessage platform with the new IT rules, according to a source.

Apple has explained to the ministry that iMessage is a feature in its mobile device like every phone has for sending out messages and not an app which can be downloaded by any user.

It also has less than 5 million users of iMessage which is another reason why it is out of the purview of Information Technology (IntermediaryGuidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021.

“Apple’s iMessage is not an app available that can be downloaded by anyone. It is a SMS like feature of the phone and hence Meity has withdrawn a letter issued to Apple for seeking compliance,” the source said.

An Email query sent to the Ministry of Electronics and IT and Apple elicited no reply.

The new IT rules came into force from May 26.

The rule defines a social media platform which primarily or solely enables online interaction between two or more users and allows them to create, upload, share, disseminate, modify or access information using its services.

Social media platforms having more than 5 million users in India need to comply with the new IT rules.

They are required to appoint a chief compliance Officer, nodal contact person and a resident grievance officer and each of them should be resident of India.