There is a disturbing app that is making headlines because it allows men in Saudi Arabia to monitor and control the movements of their wives and daughters. And now, critics are questions why both Google and Apple have continued to carry the app.
In Saudi Arabia, women have very few basic rights, and one of the things they are prohibited from doing is traveling without the permission of their father or husband. In order to control where women travel in the 21st century, the Saudi Government has created this app to track and control their movements.
Using the app, men have the ability to track everywhere their wives and daughters go using GPS, and they have access to a feature that lets them specify when and where the women can travel to certain locations. Men can also receive automatic updates when a woman uses her passport at an airport or a border checkpoint.
It also gives men a direct line to the government to report if their wives or daughters go missing, which then sends out alerts that can prevent the women from fleeing the country. For example, if a husband wakes up and finds that his daughter has gone missing, he can send out an alert to bar her from every airport in the country, and if she tries to leave, she would be arrested and detained.
It is controversial here because it is available here in the U.S. The app is called “Absher,” which means “at your service,” and whether you have an iPhone or an Android, you can open your app store and find the app available for free.
Many are wondering why companies like Apple and Google are complicit in providing a service that traps Saudi women and forces them to stay in abusive situations when they are trying to escape.
When asked about the company’s association with the app, Apple CEO Tim Cook said he was not familiar with it, and promised that he would take a look at it.