- Receive a text message when female “dependents” use their passport at a border
- Grant or revoke remotely a woman’s passport
- Limit the number of journeys a woman can take or how long she can travel for
Google told the office of Congresswoman Jackie Speier — one of the 14 members of Congress who wrote a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai asking both companies to stop hosting the app — that the app doesn’t violate its terms of service.
In a separate letter, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden asked the Apple and Google CEO’s to remove Absher from app stores. Wyden wrote:
“It is hardly news that the Saudi monarchy seeks to restrict and repress Saudi women, but American companies should not enable or facilitate the Saudi government’s patriarchy.”
Both companies agreed to launch investigations into the woman-tracking app. Google’s investigation cleared the app saying that it doesn’t violate any agreements. Apple is still pursuing its investigation.
In late 2018, Apple’s CEO announced that tech needs to take a moral stand against hate speech. Now, the world waits while he decides whether tracking a woman’s movement qualifies as morality.
Meanwhile, our world — which has become heavily dependent on tech giants like Google and Apple — now watches those tech giants dehumanize and oppress women in far corners of the world.
Google’s decision in the case of it’s woman-tracking app is unsurprising, especially considering that Google continues to support China’s boot-crushing oppression of its Muslim population, the Uighurs.
While we wait for Apple to make its decision on this app, we need to remember that the real power lies with us. Our consumption of Silicon Valley products (and our vast data contribution to them) has given rise and reach to what I call our “Silicon Valley overlords.”
We have now reached the point where Silicon Valley has the widest censorship reach in human history. This app, approved by Goggle, is just one example of that.