The two leading tech giants across the Globe Google and Apple have developed a government-backed mobile app which is dedicated to the people of Saudi Arabia for meeting their everyday Governmental activities, but at the same time both these companies are blamed for having integrated facilities in the app to track the Saudi Arbian women every single moment.
Both these technology giants are facing sharp criticism for developing this app and are blamed for having fueled the country’s male dominating rules which demands women to seek approval from their husbands or male family members for things like traveling and getting a job.
If you go to the About App section of the Absher app, it reads, “Absher is the official individuals eServices Mobile Application that provide the services of Absher portal in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
But now question arises is it really so? If the app is exactly what it describes in the About Section, then why it’s blamed for fueling the guardianship system! In fact, many rights groups have already called on Google and Apple to make sure Absher doesn’t facilitate the abuse of women’s rights. Some even have demanded to remove this app from the PlayStore immediately.
It’s not like so that all women in Saudi blacklash this app. Some even mean it very useful like Maha Alanzi, a 26-year-old Saudi woman who attends university in Australia who says, “It’s helpful especially in my situation,” she says. “I sometimes need permission from my dad and if he’s not in the same city, he needs to come to do this. But in this app, it’s easier.”
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Now question arises, if Google and Apple will respond to this sharp criticism and take some steps against this app. However, both the companies have already responded as Apple’s Cook told NPR the previous week that the company would “take a look at it” and Google said it was “looking into it,” according to CNN.