The government decides to launch a messaging app, Smart Office, similar to WhatsApp, by June 2021, which will be launched at the finalization of the Private Data Protection Bill. The app will have all advanced communication features.
The Ministry of Information Technology (IT) and Telecommunications quoted Federal Minister Aminul Haq as saying that the ‘Smart Office’ app would be launched by the Pakistani government by June 2021.
Haq said the government is well aware of the concerns of Pakistani users about the policy of updating the social media app WhatsApp and is redesigning its policies, including the preparation of the Personal Data Protection Bill, the official Social media companies are involved in speeding up work and increasing contacts with employees on a chat request.
He said that the federal cabinet had issued orders to the ministry to develop an app like WhatsApp for government employees. Haq added that work on the Personal Data Protection Bill must now be expedited. The Federal Minister said that the government is fully aware of the concerns of WhatsApp users regarding its policy update and the privacy rights of the users cannot be violated.
He also expressed serious concerns about the move to start deleting user accounts for not accepting Facebook’s proprietary WhatsApp policy update. WhatsApp should have consulted users before updating its policy and no company is allowed to impose its decisions on its users through barriers. The policy should be the same for global consumers.
The new policy will not be effective in some countries, including Europe, Brazil and the United States. According to the Ministry of IT, in the first phase, the app will be launched in major cities after being developed on an experimental basis. On January 13, the Ministry of Information and Technology said it was monitoring current developments and explanations provided by Facebook.
According to Facebook
“It is assumed that subject matter changes in privacy apply only to WhatsApp business accounts, while regular non-business / individual profiles / accounts are not affected,”.
The Ministry of IT added that all digital platforms should strengthen their engagements with the Government of Pakistan to address the concerns of the general public and businesses in any possibility.