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Tech Giant Google Refuses to Remove Controversial Saudi App

Human rights groups such as Amnesty International have also criticised Google and Apple for allowing the app on their platforms

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company's offices in Toronto. VOA

Google has refused to pull out a controversial government app from Saudi Arabia which lets men track and control women who travel, saying it does not violate its Play Store policies.

According to a report in the Business Insider on Sunday, the tech giant told the office of California Democrat Representative Jackie Speier, who had called for the removal of the app called “Absher”, that the app does not violate its terms of service.

The US Representatives Speier, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and 11 others have demanded that Apple and Google must both remove the app.

Speier called Google’s response “deeply unsatisfactory”.

“The responses received so far from Apple and Google are deeply unsatisfactory. As of today, the Absher app remains available in both the Apple App store and the Google Play Store even though they can easily remove it,” Speier was quoted as saying.

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks at the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, California.

Apple was yet to announce its decision.

Absher allows Saudi users to access government services and also offers features which allow “Saudi men to grant and rescind travel permission for women and to set up SMS alerts for when women use their passports”.

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An earlier report suggested Saudi men could use the app to control female dependents.

Human rights groups such as Amnesty International have also criticised Google and Apple for allowing the app on their platforms. (IANS)

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New Google Pixel 4 Face Unlock Works even if Eyes are Closed

Google claims that the Pixel 4 Face Unlock meets the security requirements as a strong biometric and it is one of the most secure face unlock solutions

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The US based search engine giant was so sure about its Face Unlock's security that the company had removed all the fingerprint sensors from the Pixel 4 handsets. Pixabay

 Google has recently launched its latest Google Pixel 4 series smartphones with face unlock for biometric authentication in New York. But this feature comes with a major flaw, as it could unlock the phone even if users were not looking at it.

According to BBC reporter Chris Fox, the face unlock mechanism works even when the device owner has his eyes shut. He tried this with different users and the same thing happened.

“The Pixel 4 facial recognition works even if you’re asleep/dead. That seems problematic #madebygoogle #pixel4,” Chris tweeted along with a video.

The US based search engine giant was so sure about its Face Unlock’s security that the company had removed all the fingerprint sensors from the Pixel 4 handsets.

Google seems to be aware of the problem, stating on a Pixel 4 help page that: “Your phone can also be unlocked by someone else if it’s held up to your face, even if your eyes are closed. Keep your phone in a safe place, like your front pocket or handbag.”

Google Pixel 4
The Google Pixel 4 comes with a starting price tag of $799 and Pixel 4 XL for $899. The phones will ship globally from October 24 (Representatinal Image). Pixabay

Google claims that the Pixel 4 Face Unlock meets the security requirements as a strong biometric and it is one of the most secure face unlock solutions.

The Google Pixel 4 comes with a starting price tag of $799 and Pixel 4 XL for $899. The phones will ship globally from October 24.

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In terms of specifications, Pixel 4 features a 5.7-inch Full HD+ Smooth 90Hz display. The Pixel 4 XL, on the other hand, comes with a 6.3-inch Quad HD+ Smooth 90Hz display.

Both the devices are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset. (IANS)