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Saudi Arabia : a critique of Saudi Arabian App for Monitoring women

Saudi Arabia has issued a authorities-App and a lot of criticism triggered. As a provider of the National Information Center is in the Appstores recorded, according to the website of the Saudi interior Ministry of the Principal. The mobile phone program with the name Absher is available for i-Phones and Android phones, it is actually intended to make it easier for people management processes. You can pay about Parking fees, or authorities appointments.

For international attention with a small additional function, but in the App: men get the opportunity to monitor their wives. And this function goes beyond the normal positioning services, which can be installed on any mobile phone, because the Saudi man gets government support: So it can be notified via SMS when his wife wants to pass the passport control, to go abroad.

In Saudi Arabia the law is that women are not allowed to travel without the consent of her male guardian, such as father, brother or husband. Accordingly, he gets a notification, then he / she can decide, whether he wants his wife out of the country or not. He can even choose which airports can you control.

According to the "Netzpolitik.org" is it the controversial App since 2012, already at that time the feature had been included. But it was only when the "Business Insider" with an impressive article reported, has the Problem of an international attention.

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human rights organizations see the App is critical. You don't want to achieve more that the mobile phone providers, Apple and Google to distribute the program through their appstores. "Such Apps can facilitate human rights violations such as discrimination against women," citing "Business Insider", Human Rights Watch.

The SMS-Service for men was "another example of how the Saudi government created instruments, to restrict the freedom of women," also criticized Amnesty International, the program. Apple and Google have policies for distributed Apps, you should Absher from the program. US politicians, such as democratic Senator Ron Wyden joined in the criticism of the US corporations. So far neither Google nor Apple have responded, the program is still in the Appstore and Google Pay are available. (tsp)

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