Aug 10, 2016

    Samsung's move to install govt app slammed


    A PLAN by Samsung Electronics to add

    an app created and distributed by the

    South Korean government to its new Galaxy Note phablet has sparked a backlash from the main opposition party and civic groups.

    The latter called it an attempt to use technology as a propaganda tool.

    According to local reports quoting sources in the tech industry, Samsung Electronics has recently decided to include an app - Government 3.0 -

    on the list of apps to be installed automatically

    on the Note 7 when initialising the smartphone's software.

    The app offers access to government services, including Minwon 24, and transactions

    provided by the National Tax Service, said a Samsung official.

    If it is not needed, users can choose not to

    upload the app, the official added.

    An official at the Home Affairs Ministry

    also said that the app is meant to provide

    public services around the clock.

    "The new version of Government 3.0 app will offer public services frequently used by the people and it only takes 1.2 megabytes (of storage) for installation," he said, adding that the app will

    also be available for iPhone users.

    Politicians from the main opposition Minjoo Party of Korea, however, criticised the plan, saying it was intended to promote government activities rather than its claim of offering convenience to users.

    "The plan is designed to unilaterally propagandise the government's work by using

    the popularity of domestically manufactured smartphones," the party noted.

    Civic groups including Green Consumer Network in Korea also hit out at the electronic giant

    and the government, saying that they are

    forcing users to install unwanted software.

    Apps on government services in other countries are available through app stores for users to download if they want, and not included as basic content like Samsung's plan, they added.