Absher is a kind of Saudi equivalent to China’s Weibo, an all-in-one service that manages payments, interaction with government services, and, key to the Saudi system of sadistic, totalitarian medieval patriarchy, it lets men track the whereabouts of their wives, daughters, and employees, sending alerts to “guardians” when women use their passports.
Last month, Senator Ron Wyden [D-OR] publicly called on the Google and Apple to remove the Absher app from their mobile app stores. Wyden and allies like Rep. Jackie Speier [D-CA] wrote to Apple and Google with the demand.
Google has announced that after reviewing the app, they found that it did not violate their policies.
Apple (whose terms of service ban apps that contribute to “systemic discrimination or marginalization”) has not yet responded, saying that they are still reviewing Absher.
Rep. Speier and 13 colleagues in Congress wrote to Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Apple CEO Tim Cook on February 21, demanding that the app be removed.
They and gave a deadline of Thursday 28 February to explain why the app is hosted on Google Play.
The 14 — including Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Katherine Clark, and Jackie Speier — said that Google and Apple are “accomplices in the oppression of Saudi Arabian women” for hosting the app.