Pakistan to launch WhatsApp-like app by June 2021: IT minister

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is planning to launch its own WhatsApp-like messaging app by June 2021 which will be equipped with all modern communication features.

Federal Minister for Information Technology (IT) and Telecom Aminul Haque said that the ‘Smart Office’ app will be launched by the Pakistani government by June 2021.

Orders to develop the app were issued by the federal cabinet and it will be for government employees. “It is now necessary to expedite work on the Personal Data Protection Bill,” Haque added.

The federal minister said, “The government is fully aware of concerns of WhatsApp users over its policy update and privacy rights of the users could not be violated”.

WhatsApp should have taken opinions from users before updating its policy and no company is allowed to impose its decisions on its users through constraints, he said.

The decision was taken after recent security concerns raised by global users and masses in Pakistan over WhatsApp’s new privacy policy.

According to Facebook-owned WhatsApp’s new policy, it may share your information with its family of companies to help, maintain and integrate their activities and get better the services.

Whatever information WhatsApp automatically collects from you will be shared with Facebook. This includes your mobile phone number and basic information you give when you create a WhatsApp account.

It also collects and shares user activity, how often you use WhatsApp, features you use, your profile photo, your status and ‘about’ information, aper the new police.

The new update also collects device-level information like what device you use, your mobile network, IP address, among others. It also collects and uses precise location information from your device, but with your consent.

“The policy should be the same for global users. The new policy will not be effective in some countries including Europe, Brazil and the United States,” as per new policy.

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