Earlier this year the Child Protection Center of Ministry of Interior in the UAE launched a free smartphone app designed to let parents keep tabs on their children. Etisalat has now launched a dedicated child protection data plan for the app.
Called ‘Hemayati’ (my protection), the app allows parents to keep track of their children throughout the day. The App provides a facility that enables parents to have live time communication with their children and to have real time knowledge of where they are. The application also contains safety and emergency alert facilities. This initiative is one of 30 smartphone apps launched by the Ministry of Interior.
The dedicated child protection data plan includes unlimited data connectivity to HEMAYATI App for just AED 49 (~US$13.30) a month. However, browsing, accessing Emails, YouTube, internet & video browsing will not be allowed and will be blocked.
- Maj Gen Nasser Lakhribani Al Nuaimi, Secretary-General of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, said the app relates to the country’s upcoming seven-year agenda, which is concerned with the field of security to make the UAE the safest country in the world.
Police officials added the app’s ability to request children’s locations will enable parents to be aware of how well a school is running its transport services. Each family will be given a private ‘group’ on the app and guardians and information shared in this closed circle will remain within it, a police statement said.
- National ID card numbers will be used to sign up for Hemayati to ensure that parents downloading the application have the authority to do so. After receiving approval, parents can instruct their children to download the app to their own smartphones. Guardians will also have the option to hide their own location if they wish to do so. Each person will have a password for access and the app will be limited to families with children.
Khaled Elkhouly, Chief Marketing Officer at Etisalat added “We believe our monthly data package for the app will further encourage parents to use it and help protect their children in times of emergency.”
The issue of child protection, both physical and Internet related, is a huge issue globally. Undoubtedly the UAE regulatory environment differs from other regions, never-the-less, this is another good example of an operator identifying a real need and creating a digital lifestyle service to meet that need.