Apple accused over app for Saudi men to track wives

Apple and Google in hot water over app that tracks a Saudi woman’s whereabouts

But the Absher app has made the process much more convenient for men, and human rights advocates are concerned that the electronic tracking adds yet another level of repression for Saudi women. "But obviously we'll take a look at it if that's the case".

Apple CEO Tim Cook will investigate the Saudi government app branded "abhorrent" by a US Senator following an investigation by Business Insider's sister site INSIDER.

Women in Saudi Arabia need to get permission to leave the country from a male guardian, usually a father or husband. The system also sends SMS alerts to the male guardian when a female family member uses their passport at a border or for airport check-in.

"It's really designed with the men in mind", Rothna Begum, a senior researcher on women's rights at Human Rights Watch, told NPR.

Apple does not include the number of downloads for apps, but according to the Google Play Store, Absher has been downloaded more than a million times.

Neither Apple nor Google were immediately available for comment. This is another example of how the Saudi Arabian government has produced tools to limit women's freedoms. The companies have faced some backlash over these policies, particularly around how they might impact small businesses.


Business Insider first reported on the app's existence last week, drawing concern from human rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Apple and Google have different systems for flagging inappropriate apps.

"Power and money talks, unfortunately, without giving any attention to the violations of human rights", she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "When they're evaluating whether an app should be allowed. providers really should consider the broader context or the objective of the app, how it's being used in practice and whether it's facilitating abuse". Before apps became such a huge part of our daily lives, Saudi women had to present a signed yellow form whenever they travelled overseas unaccompanied by their guardians, which was easier to forge, but because Absher works in real-time, it's much harder to get around.

The Absher app gives access to government services and is used by millions of Saudis to pay parking fines or obtain permits. "By not saying anything", she says, "they've allowed the government to facilitate the abuse".

"It is hardly news that the Saudi monarchy seeks to restrict and repress Saudi women, but American companies should not enable or facilitate the Saudi government's patriarchy", the letter read.

Related News:



Most liked

Ex-US intelligence officer charged in Iran espionage case
That event, which court papers say is sponsored by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps , promotes an anti-American viewpoint. The Justice Department has issued arrest warrants for Witt and the four Iranians, who all remain at large.

Game of Thrones star Lena Headey slams trolls for criticising her
Cape Town - Game of Thrones is known for its vicious deaths but there was one so bad we didn't even see it on screen. While there is a super Game of Thrones box set coming out this year, don't expect more Pounce footage.

Trump open to letting March 1 deadline for China tariffs slide
An airstrip, structures, and buildings on China's man-made Subi Reef in the Spratly chain of islands in the South China Sea . Beijing and several of its neighbors, including Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan, claim the South China Sea.

How Hailey Baldwin Feels About Taking Justin Bieber's Last Name
I needed some time". "I haven't talked about this, and I'm still processing so much stuff that I haven't talked about", he told Vogue .

Apple announces Health Records feature coming to veterans
Neither the San Diego VA nor the main headquarters in Washington, D.C., were able to provide additional information Monday afternoon.

Anthony Edwards Recruiting: Full Story & Must See Details
Originally a member of the 2020 recruiting class, Anthony Edwards recently made a decision to join the 2019 grouping instead. Edwards told Biancardi he planned to recruit uncommitted classmates Precious Achiuwa and Lester Quinones to Georgia.

Dani Alves: Time for PSG to win Champions League
Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe scored in the second half as PSG outclassed United 2-0 at Old Trafford on Tuesday. The German had spent hours watching every United game under Solskjaer - 10 wins from 11 - in the preceding days.

Bebe Rexha Stuns In Monsoori Dress At 2019 Grammys: See The Look
See the rest of our favorite standout looks from the 2019 GRAMMY Awards by clicking through the gallery of best-dressed celebs. Rexha told E! on the red carpet , "I just did the video because I was really heartbroken and it bummed me out...

Why BET’s Mean Tweet About Nicki Minaj Was Counterproductive To The Culture
Last night, BET chimed in on Nicki Minaj and Cardi B's deep-seated beef and now, Minaj wants smoke with the network. On February 10, Cardi B. made history as the first solo female to take home the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album .

Borussia Dortmund 3 Hoffenheim 3: Sensational three-goal comeback denies Favre's men
Borussia Dortmund are nearly certainly going to be without captain Marco Reus when they return to Champions League action on Wednesday.

Mickelson finishes off a 5th win at Pebble Beach
Now a victor at that level, his tour card is safe for two years, which will give him a completely different outlook. This time , he closed with a 71 and lost to Mickelson's 65, which matched the low score of the final round.

Glimpses Of Kesari (Part 2): "Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladaun…"
In the first video, we can see the soldiers storming in and Akki standing there with a blood-tipped sword. Ajay Devgn is also working on Sons of Sardaar , which is reportedly based on the same event.

Another rare black Leopard spotted found in Laikipia, Kenya
For the first time in a century, a rare melanistic leopard, commonly called a "black panther", has been photographed in Kenya. In Africa, however, melanistic leopards are extremely rare.

Nintendo Direct Incoming Tomorrow Featuring Fire Emblem: Three Houses
After much waiting and anticipation, the first Nintendo Direct of 2019 has been announced via the official Nintendo website . The Direct will apparently run 35 minutes long, and focus on Switch titles, particularly Fire Emblem: Three Houses .

AirPods 2 with grip coating to cost $200
So overall, we should expect better audio, easier grip earbuds, a choice of black or white colors, and new health features. In another welcome change, Apple is also believed to be embracing color options with the AirPods 2.