The BL News—Google and Apple will keep a Saudi Arabian app that may violate Women’s right’s

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The BL News—Google and Apple will keep a Saudi Arabian app that may violate Women’s right’s

Google will keep a Saudi app available for download in its mobile app store, despite calls from legislators that it violates women's rights and should be removed.

According to the Google Play stores app description, Absher is the official individuals eServices Mobile Application that provides the services of Absher portal in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi government app, Absher, is mostly a way for residents and citizens of Saudi Arabia to pay traffic fines, file for permits and complete other administrative tasks electronically.

But it includes a feature that has sparked controversy – the ability for Saudi men to grant or deny a woman permission to travel.

In the past, a travel permit was a paper document issued by the Interior Ministry and signed by a male relative.

The app has replaced that document, but removing the app would not change or remove the guardianship rules in place.

Apple's App Store guidelines seem to give the company a lot of latitude in what apps are considered unacceptable, including those that have "content that is offensive, insensitive, upsetting, intended to disgust or in exceptionally poor taste."

Google also has guidelines to prohibit apps that facilitate harassment and characteristics tied to systemic discrimination.

Apple told US lawmakers critical of the app it is still investigating.
According to the Associated Press, Google and Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

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