Women in the ultra-conservative kingdom must by law have male guardians, whether it be a husband, father, brother or uncle, who gives permission for them to do everything including studying, marrying, renting a house, and travelling.
"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", Wyden argued in his letter to the tech companies.
A group of 14 members of the House of Representatives, including the body's first two Muslim-American women, Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, demanded that Google and Apple ban the app in a letter sent February 21 to the tech giants. In the meantime, Speier and a group of fellow agents sent a letter to the CEOs of Google and Apple, requesting that they pull the application from their 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.
If more pushback occurs going forward, the app will likely disappear from both platforms. Following the publication of the report, human rights groups, for example, Amnesty International have reprimanded the two organizations for hosting the application.
Rep Speier says that the responses from both companies are "deeply unsatisfactory".
A few weeks ago, the existence of an app called 'Absher,' used by Saudi Arab men to control and track the movements of women in the country, came into light. Apple has said it is still reviewing the app.
Apple is yet to make a statement on whether they will remove the app or not.