Why is FaceTime banned in UAE? There are many reasons why countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia ban internet-based VoIP communication apps like FaceTime. FaceTime is a revolutionary app developed for iPhone users by Apple Inc. The app allows unlimited video connection with our loved ones making it one of the most popular communication apps in the world.
Dubai prides itself on being a very liberal and modern country. Then, why is FaceTime banned in UAE? The actual reasons why FaceTime is banned by the UAE are not revealed by the government, but here are a few possible reasons.
Why is FaceTime Banned in UAE?
1. To protect UAE’s own VoIP services
Just like many countries prohibit importing any products to boost sales of local produce, this is also a measure taken by the UAE government to preserve their own country’s VoIP services. This is a clever move that prevents hundreds of dollars from going out of the country every day. But on the downside, consumers might have to suffer from high-price local services.
The local VoIP services of the UAE are called Etisalat and Du. These are the only approved VoIP services in the country. These telecom companies have an agreement with the government of the UAE that prevents them from providing services of other VoIP. This agreement has been in place since 2006.
2. Security Risk
One of the biggest reasons why FaceTime is banned in the UAE is that it poses a potential security risk. The app is encrypted, yet there is a huge possibility for hackers to gain users’ data, including their personal information and credit card numbers.
The end-to-end encryption of FaceTime is not always secure. If one user’s device is vulnerable, then the other’s device can also be intercepted and hacked.
3. Collection of Data
All service providers collect valuable data from their users. From Google to Apple, all these companies have a reputation for collecting personal data on how long we talk and to whom. They also collect our location data and have unlimited access to our other personal information too.
The data that is conspicuously collected can be used to target users to sell products and advertisements. Since this has become a serious privacy concern, the government has protected the privacy of its citizens by banning these apps.
4. A lack of Parental Controls
Another possible reason why FaceTime is banned in the UAE is these apps do not provide any type of parental controls for users. Children can have a conversation with whomever they want, and parents will be completely unaware. FaceTime allows you to block certain contacts, but it does not show or let us control who they talk to.
So the move to block FaceTime and other communication apps is a wise move to protect children from being exposed to inappropriate content and people.
5. Lack of Moderation
FaceTime seriously lacks moderation when it comes to the time limit and monitoring features, unlike other video chatting apps. Any amount of offensive materials can be shared without repercussions. There is no way to block or report offensive users.
6. Unregulated Content
FaceTime also has no content regulations or restrictions. This unlimited freedom can lead to illegal or dangerous exposure, especially in the case of underage users and children.
What are some alternative communication apps allowed in the UAE?
Although UAE has banned communication apps like FaceTime, there is the abundant use of other communication apps like WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, Viber and Zoom.
Read this article for VoIP apps in Dubai that are legally allowed.
Why is FaceTime Banned in UAE? Summary
FaceTime is one of the communication apps that has been banned in the UAE. The biggest reason why it is illegal is so that local VoIP providers will not lose the market. But there are also other reasons, like lack of moderation in content, lack of parental control and security risks posed by FaceTime.
Also read: Is FaceTime banned in the UAE?
*All pics are taken from Unsplash.com