US Senator demands Apple and Google pull controversial Saudi-based Absher app

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden has formally written to  Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, calling on the pair to pull an app used to track the movements of Saudi women.

The app is operated by the Saudi Ministry of Interior’s National Information Center and has multiple functions. But earlier this month, it came to light that the app allows the tracking and controlling of Saudi women. Although Saudi Arabia has loosened some of its old policies toward women —for instance by letting them drive — the country remains very patriarchal and governed under Wahhabism, a strict fundamentalist sect of Islam.

The app has been downloaded by more that 1 million users so far.

 

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