Apple and Google pressured to remove an app that allows Saudi men to track their wives

19 February 2019 - 06:08 By Odwa Mjo
Google and Apple face criticism for hosting a Saudi app that allows men to track their wives and daughters.
Google and Apple face criticism for hosting a Saudi app that allows men to track their wives and daughters.
Image: AFP PHOTO/FAYEZ NURELDINE

Google and Apple are being pressured to remove an app that allows Saudi men to track their wives and daughters.

Aljazeera reported that US senator Ron Wyden had written a letter to the CEOs of Apple and Google requesting the companies to stop promoting the app called "Absher", which is a Saudi e-government portal. 

Apple and Google have faced backlash from human rights bodies, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. 

The free app allows Saudi residents to do admin including getting passports, birth certificates and paying traffic fines. 

According to Aljazeera, the app also allows men to specify where and when adult females under their "guardianship", including wives and unmarried daughters, can and cannot travel.

The men get an sms notifying them if their wives or daughters use their passports at an airport or border crossing. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook, told National Public Radio that he had not heard about the app but would "take a look at it if that's the case". 


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