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Apple, Google urged to remove Saudi app that tracks, restricts women’s travels

ANI | Updated: Feb 16, 2019 20:21 IST

California [USA], February 16 (ANI): Human rights groups and US senator Ron Wyden are asking Apple and Google chiefs to pull down an app from their respective app stores which reportedly tracks and controls the movement of women.
The app, called Absher, is offered by the Saudi government and comes with a feature that allows men to track women. In a letter to the tech giants, the senator has urged them to prevent the app from being used to continue the abhorrent surveillance and control of women, The Washington Post reported.
Absher is an e-governance app, aimed at allowing Saudi citizens to process a number of issues such as getting a passport, birth certificate, or vehicle registration.
However, as it is still illegal for women in Saudi Arabia to travel without the permission of their ‘male guardian’, Absher allows the men to restrict the travel of their women. They can choose to allow or disallow them to leave the country, or even limit the dates and places.
The app has been installed on devices more than 1 million times, while the official website says there are more than 11 million users of the app. (ANI)