Apple, Google criticized over app that humiliates women

Apple, Google criticized over app that humiliates women
An app available from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store is the focus of global criticism since it allows Saudi men to track the location of their wives and daughters. The developer of the app, which is called Absher, is the National Information Center. The agency was created by the Saudi Ministry of Interior and "provides IT solutions and services to the Ministry sectors and other government agencies." It is one of the largest IT centers in the Middle East.

The app is attracting negative attention from lawmakers and civil rights activists because of what it can do. The app description in the Google Play Store reads, "Absher has been designed and developed with special consideration to security and privacy of user's data and communication. So, you can safely browse your profile or your family members, or labors working for you, and perform a wide range of eServices online." The monitoring aspects of the app are used by Saudi men because women in the country are restricted and cannot leave the country without permission from their husbands or fathers.

The app can send the user a real-time text message alerting him that a wife or daughter is leaving or entering the country. The alert could help a Saudi man stop a related female from leaving Saudi Arabia. One U.S. lawmaker who has been a champion for online privacy, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore), has written a letter to Google and Apple asking both of them to remove the app.

Some Saudi women claim that Absher actually helped them to escape. These women were able to access the app on the phone belonging to their husband or father, and change the settings. This allowed them to flee the country. But obviously, not all Saudi women can get this opportunity.


While Google has yet to comment on the situation, Apple CEO Tim Cook told NPR today that he personally hadn't heard of the app, but will have Apple take a closer look at it.

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19 Comments

1. w1000i

Posts: 250; Member since: Jul 22, 2015

Buls**t, This service could be one of the most advanced government app in the world and let you control and view all the related stuff. Goolge maps can help you track your wife and kids so lets ban that app too.

18. sissy246

Posts: 7124; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

You left out apple maps, it can track also.

2. lyndon420

Posts: 6818; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

The religious police over there are brutal.

3. w1000i

Posts: 250; Member since: Jul 22, 2015

Who told you, the media like this article ?! really !!

7. Blazers

Posts: 751; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

You must be from KSA.

35. lyndon420

Posts: 6818; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

No...the left wing guided media doesn't report such things. I've done extensive research on the topic, plus my ex-wife converted to islam and she keeps me well informed of such things.

10. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1327; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

Apple and Google maps have the same feature of allowing you to track the location of your spouse or children. Some parental control apps offer similar feature sets. I do support the removal of this app though because of its intended use. All humans should have the same rights regardless of sex or race.

12. rouyal

Posts: 1583; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

Why would the women have to ‘hack’ the man’s phone? Just get a burner, leave the tracked phone behind.

17. lyndon420

Posts: 6818; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Maybe that's not an easy thing for women to do there? Otherwise a burner definitely would make the most sense if they're able to hide it without getting caught.

13. Vogue1985

Posts: 475; Member since: Jan 24, 2017

Gosh, thats something Saudi Arabia again. First Karma app now this what else is going on there.

28. mootu

Posts: 1527; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

The Karma software was nothing to do with Saudi Arabia.

31. Vogue1985

Posts: 475; Member since: Jan 24, 2017

thanks for the correction, Karma apple hacking software was the United Arab Emirates, not Saudi Arabia

19. sissy246

Posts: 7124; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

The only time any phone should be tracked is if someone is travelling and they want someone to keep a eye on them.

21. Seatech21

Posts: 68; Member since: Jan 01, 2018

Awesome app! Keep my hoe in check!

26. Ichimoku

Posts: 173; Member since: Nov 18, 2018

When the technology news becomes a religion war.

27. irfanmajra

Posts: 3; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

is this humiliation of women? What do you think about showcasing nude women in strip clubs?

30. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Pretty sure a woman working as a stripper is her own choice (in most cases). And can't be compared to an app that helps a country systematically suppressing their women. Remember that there are severe penalties for trying to leave the country without the approval of your husband/father, even physical punishment or worst cases death.

33. lyndon420

Posts: 6818; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

On this continent...if a woman is dancing in a club, she's doing it because she wants to. And she's probably making really good money doing it. Very old form of woman empowerment that will stand the test of time.

34. Vega007

Posts: 84; Member since: May 18, 2017

PC police all over this one lol.

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