Samsung recently included Government 3.0 in its list of preinstalled apps on the Galaxy Note 7. When users activate a new USIM chip with the smartphone, they are asked to install a batch of apps on the phone.
This is the first time that an app developed by the Korean government has been included in such a list.
Consumers who do not want to use the app are given the option of ignoring it, or they can delete it whenever they want after installation, according to Samsung.
The government said that Government 3.0, which takes up just 1.2 megabytes, will benefit smartphone users as it provides services often used by the public including online tax services and the issuance of public documents.
However, the civic group Green Consumer Network is not convinced and wants it out of the list.
“The government is arm-twisting consumers by forcing them to use an unwanted service,” said Yoon Moon-yong, an information communications technology director of the civic group.
The major opposition Minjoo Party of Korea recently said that preinstallation of the app on Note 7 is “a sneaky trick to promote government propaganda by riding piggyback on the smartphone’s popularity.”