Last year, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) introduced an online mobile application named Citizen Portal where people could lodge a complaint regarding their issues instantly but now it is being said that the personal information provided to the app might not be safe.
According to The Express Tribune, people are moving away from using the mobile application due to its failure at keeping the data of the complainant confidential.
A citizen of KPK found this the hard way when he complained about illegal charged parking in the sector. The man he complained against ended up on his doorstep threatening him of dire consequences if he didn’t take back his complaint.
The complainant was pressurized into bowing down to the person who was exploiting people by charging people for parking in his area and damaging the cars of those who refused to pay.
The initial report was filed in February but after a series of follow up complaints, Performance Management and Reforms Unit (PMRU) responded that his complaint has been forwarded to the relevant police department.
The police ended up sharing the details regarding the said complaint with the other man who used the citizen portal to get a printout of the complaint which bore my identity card number and name.
In in initial phases, the data of all the complainants used to be confidential but by expanding the net of its access to various other departments there are many cases of data misuse that are arising in the KPK.
Moving towards the digital world is a commendable effort but at the same time, the government needs to take progressive measure to ensure the safety and privacy of its citizens.
Following the lead of Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) other provinces should work on their IT infrastructure but should also consider how to protect the vast data that will be in their possession as a result of the digital revolution. Otherwise, people will stop trusting the IT-enabled solutions in fear of being identified and injustice would prevail.