Apple and Google have been called on by human rights defenders to remove a Saudi government’s app from their platforms.
The call is to take away an app Absher over their concerns that the app allow Saudi men to keep track on the women that are under their sponsorship.
Earlier in last week on Monday, the top Democrat on the US Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, also wrote a letter addressing to the CEO’s of both companies with a similar claim, asking them to prevent their platforms as well as app stores from being a part of such undesirable supervision and control of women.
Absher is a mobile app by Saudi government used as an e-portal to get an access to number of legitimate services including visa, Hajj, traffic violations, National ID and health insurance related along with many other services and was officially published by National Information Center for iOS devices in 2015 whereas android version was subsequently launched in 2016, according to the Saudi Ministry of Interior.
And one of the services also contains a feature for male guardians, which provide them control over travel activities of their dependent women, especially in case when they are travelling out of the country or even restrict their travel within the country.
The guardianship laws of Saudi Arabia impose restrictions upon women to have permission from their male guardians for travelling within or out of the country.
And to these restrictive conditions, Absher app has been described as technological extension by the critics, which is imposing repressive rules to restrict many parts of everyday life of the women.
Amnesty International also called on the companies to take notice of the risk of human rights violation against the women made by the App available on their platform and asked them to act to lessen the harm caused to the women by the App.