Get a Life, Quit Tracking Your Wife

Get a Life, Quit Tracking Your Wife

Chloe Young, Staff Writer

Have you ever felt like sharing your location is an invasion of privacy?  In recent news, Apple and Google have been accused of helping to enforce gender apartheid in Saudi Arabia by providing access to an app which allows men to track women and stop them from leaving the country.  

Absher is an app developed by the Saudi government which allows men to specify when and how women can cross Saudi borders, as well as alerting them if they do so.  The app allows for the men to state where women can go, for how long and which airports they’re allowed to go to. Alerts are sent if a woman enters an unapproved area.

It has reinforced difficulty women often face trying to flee Saudi Arabia.  Absher warns the men leading to the women becoming apprehended, often times trapping women who are fleeing physically or sexually abusive relationships.

Beckett Harper, Lenoir City High School junior, explains his feelings on this app.  

“It’s sickening to think that anyone could find this right-thinking.  No women deserves to be treated as an object. That’s what is going on, they are used as an object,” said Harper.

Yasmine Mohammed, an ex-Muslim and activist who campaigns and writes on women’s rights said there was a tragedy in the way Apple and Google were supporting this.  

”What irony. In the West these technologies are used to improve lives and in Saudi Arabia they’re used to enforce gender apartheid,” said Mohammed.

Harper shares his experience with location tracking apps.

“It’s crazy that in the United States these apps are used for protection.  Mostly parents wanting to look after their kids. It is a useful tool that family use for safety precautions. However, in other countries it’s being used for extremely unethical purposes.”

 Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have expressed concern about the app which have been downloaded more than one million times. The human rights organization has called on Apple and Google to accept that the app is being used to harm women, and demand changes to stop it happening in future.

Apple and Google have not yet made any statements.