Saudi app to track women's movements sparks controversy

Ilhan Omar, who has been the center of attention for her antisemitic comments lately, also related to the app on Twitter with "Women are not your property!" and demanding an end for the existence of

By ALON EINHORN
March 9, 2019 18:12
1 minute read.
Saudi students walk at the exhibition to guide job seekers at Glowork Women's Career Fair in Riyadh

Saudi students walk at the exhibition to guide job seekers at Glowork Women's Career Fair in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia October 2, 2018. (photo credit: REUTERS/FAISAL AL NASSER)

 
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Absher, an application created by the Saudi government that allows Saudi men to grant and rescind travel permission for women, became available on Google Play and Apple App store.

The app also allows for the man to set up SMS alerts for when the woman uses her passport, or when leaves certain areas.

More than a dozen members of US Congress wrote to Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Apple CEO Tim Cook, demanding that the app be removed from their platforms, describing them as "accomplices in the oppression of Saudi Arabian women."

Ilhan Omar, who has been the center of attention for her antisemitic comments lately, also related to the app on Twitter with "Women are not your property!" and demanding an end for the existence of the app on Google's and Apple's platform.



Saudi Arabia requires women to have male guardians by law, whether it be a father, brother, husband or uncle, who gives them permission to do everything, including traveling, marrying, studying or where to live.

Google said it had reviewed the app and concluded it did not violate any agreements, and could therefore remain on its Google Play store.

The app, which has been downloaded more than a million times through Google and Apple store, was accused of "facilitating human rights abuses," claimed the Human Rights Watch, an international NGO that fights for human rights worldwide.
 

 

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