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Apple to Investigate Saudi App

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A Saudi Arabian app that can be used to track women and prevent them from travelling will be investigated by Apple, its chief executive has said.

In an interview with NPR, Tim Cook said he wasn’t aware of the Absher app but would look into it.

The app, which offers access to government services, has been criticised by human rights groups.

Democratic senator Ron Wyden has called for Apple and Google to remove it from their stores.

Women in Saudi Arabia need to get permission to leave the country from a male guardian, usually a father or husband.

The Absher app, which is designed for a range of government services, such as renewing driving licences, makes the process of allowing or prohibiting travel a lot easier, and it can be done via a smartphone.

Originally designed for the Ministry of Interior, the app has been in use for several years and downloaded more than a million times.

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