Apple and Google are being pressed to remove an app that lets men track their wives and daughters in Saudi Arabia.

In a letter addressed to the CEOs of both tech giants, US Senator Ron Wyden requested that Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store stop promoting the Saudi e-government portal "Absher" which he said was being used to continue the "abhorrent surveillance and control of women".

Available to download for free, Absher allows Saudi citizens and residents to access a host of services including getting a passport, a birth certificate or paying traffic violations.

Political science professor Bessma Momani tells Al Jazeera that while the app is an example of gender discrimination, it does make it easier for women to travel by replacing the need for filing paperwork.

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