Apple and Google Stores Have App That Track Saudi Women’s Movements

Apple and Google have received a lot of criticism for hosting applications in their stores that allows men to monitor women’s movements in Saudi Arabia.

The report published in the insider revealed that an application called “Absher” alerts men how and when women cross borders. The application lets male users decide how many journey’s a woman can take alone. It provides a list of permissions for woman that can be cancelled any time by their male guardian.

The application also sends real time updates in the form of  SMSs to alert men, when women cross Saudi borders.

The controversial application is free on Apple’s App store and Google’s Play store. The android version of the application was downloaded 1 million times on google’s play store.

Both these tech giants have been criticised for hosting applications that help “enforce gender apartheid.” International organisations like the Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International urged Apple and Google to reconsider hosting the app.

Under Saudi Arabian Laws it’s essential for women to have legal “male guardians” who restrict/monitor travel access.

The Absher app initially started off by providing online government services like paying parking fines etc,.