‘Pakistan to launch its own WhatsApp-like app by June’

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has planned to launch its own WhatsApp-like messaging app, Smart Office, by June 2021, besides expediting work on finalising the Personal Data Protection Bill, it was learnt on Friday.

After the recent security concerns raised by global users and masses in Pakistan over WhatsApp new privacy policy, Federal Information Technology (IT) and Telecom Minister Aminul Haque said that ‘Smart Office’ app will be launched by the Pakistani government by June 2021.

In a statement issued by the IT ministry, Haque informed that the federal cabinet has issued orders to develop a WhatsApp-like app for government employees, adding that it was now necessary to expedite work on the Personal Data Protection Bill.

He maintained that the government was fully aware of concerns of WhatsApp users over its policy update, saying that privacy rights of the users could not be violated. He also expressed serious concerns over the WhatsApp’s move to start deleting user accounts for not accepting its policy update.

“WhatsApp should have taken opinion from users before updating its policy…no company is allowed to impose its decisions to its users through constraints,” he stated.

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