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Google is not removing Saudi government app which lets men spy on their wives


Photo: Al Jazeera

The controversial app which lets Saudi men track women and control where they travel is not going to be removed from Google Play Store.

Google reviewed the app, which is called Absher, and said that it does not violate any agreements, reported Business Insider.

Related: Apple and Google urged to remove Saudi app that tracks women

The app allows Saudi users to access government services, letting them apply for jobs or permits, pay fines, renew licenses, or to report crimes. However, it also allows Saudi men to track female dependents and control their movement.

Absher was released in 2015. One woman pursuing asylum recently indicated that she tried to flee the country without being detected by Absher and her male guardian. In order to travel, women must be granted permission through the app. Many can’t make it far because the app alerts guardians every time their dependents use their passports, according to Insider.

Related: Saudi app allowing men to ‘monitor’ their wives downloaded more than 1m times: report

Now human rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as Wyden, are urging Apple and Google to remove Absher from their app stores.