Google won't remove Saudi app that lets men track women, report says

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In a major shocker, Google has decided not to pull a Saudi government app that lets men track women and control their movements. Women are not allowed to take many decisions in Saudi Arabia without the permission of a male relative, be it marriage or travel. Continuing to hosting the app means that Apple and Google are "accomplices in the oppression of Saudi Arabian women", the representatives wrote in the letter.

"The ingenuity of American technology companies should not be perverted to violate the human rights of Saudi women".

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The Google's decision not to remove the app follows the lead of a previously signed letter, by over a dozen members of the U.S. national congress which demanded from Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Apple CEO Time Cook to remove the app from respective stores.

This decision was conveyed by Google to the office of Representative Jackie Speier, a California Democrat, who demanded that the company should remove the app. Both companies launched internal investigations into the app. In an interview with NPR last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that he will look into the issue, The Verge reported.

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A London-based non-governmental organization, Amnesty International, has also called on Google and Apple to consider both the cases, comprising the increasing risk of human rights' violence related to women through the App and the other causes a reduction in the chances of harm on women through the App. Meanwhile, Google has refused to ban the app from the Google Play Store, stating that it meets all of its terms and conditions. Activists are saying that the app allows accession to Saudi men to track women under their support.

The human rights group later toned down the rhetoric to say that "Apps like this one can facilitate human rights abuses, including discrimination against women". They can also control their movement as the app allows them to revoke travel privileges and send SMS messages with updates about their whereabouts.

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