Saudi Arabia implements electronic tracking system for women | The Raw Story

RIYADH — Denied the right to travel without consent from their male guardians and banned from driving, women in Saudi Arabia are now monitored by an electronic system that tracks any cross-border movements.Since last week, Saudi women’s male guardians began receiving text messages on their phones informing them when women under their custody leave the country, even if they are travelling together.

Manal al-Sherif, who became the symbol of a campaign launched last year urging Saudi women to defy a driving ban, began spreading the information on Twitter, after she was alerted by a couple.

via Saudi Arabia implements electronic tracking system for women | The Raw Story.

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11 thoughts on “Saudi Arabia implements electronic tracking system for women | The Raw Story

  1. It is unbelievable that Saudi women have to live with these types of restrictions and under such strict surveillance. Its unfair that the women have to wear these electronic monitoring systems and males don’t but that is a whole other issue. I think the main thing to talk about that relates to our class is the strict surveillance these women must deal with. These monitoring systems create such an invasion of privacy that it is almost safe to say that the Saudi women don’t have any privacy anymore. I feel that these systems are only used the women’s disadvantage and only can hurt them. It is almost as if the women are slaves where they are monitored at all times. These systems are being used unethically and used in ways that probably were not intended to when created.

  2. Expanding a little upon that, this story leads me to acknowledge the need for a new code of ethics specific to the technological realm. We discussed near the beginning of the semester whether it would be possible to maintain existing codes of ethics and apply them to technological cases, or whether new codes should be created entirely to deal with technological development. In this extreme case of surveillance made possible only with recent tech advancements, I cannot imagine existing codes of ethics even beginning to address such a breach in privacy, largely because it was previously impossible to this extent. I believe there must be new technology-specific codes of ethics for the simple reason that technology enables much that was once unimaginable and therefore impossible to foresee developing a necessary ethical guideline against it.

  3. This situation in Saudi Arabia is pretty unbelievable. Saudi women had very little privacy before this, but now with these tracking devices, they haven basically no privacy. I can’t even imagine having to go through a situation like these women have to. The culture in the country has a lot to do with the tracking devices, but it is still crazy to think that this is an acceptable practice in the country. This violates my personal code of technological ethics in a couple ways, lack of privacy and the betterment of the world and the people in it to name a couple. This is an example where technological advancement has caused a microscope to be put on these women, and has made life worse for the women in Saudi Arabia. I agree with Jim in that there should be a new technology-specific code of ethics, but how to apply those ethics throughout the world is an interesting dilemma.

  4. I don’t really understand what this technology is trying to accomplish. I understand it notifies the husband or whoever is in charge of the women that they are leaving the country, but then what? How can he track where they went into the other country, especially if they don’t come back? They already can’t leave the country with out his signature, doesn’t he already know that she is going? Its pretty remarkable to see where women are in the US, whether they are CEO’s or Hilary Clinton being so close to becoming the first women president, to how they are treated in Saudi Arabia. If things don’t change soon, what other technologies will they create to help keep a “leash” on their women?

  5. I’d like to preface what I’m about to say by stating that I don’t agree with the point of these tracking systems whatsoever. These chips to track men’s wives goes against my code of ethics that I practice and follow. However, it’s important to look at the context these codes of ethics are being used in. Basically, is it necessary to have one overarching international code of ethics, or can it just be based on cultural and moral standards according to that region? Although RFID tracking exists for humans (or is at least being tested), I could never see this type of thing actually being implemented in the US.

  6. There is no real argument for these tracking systems being put into place. Women are generally less of a threat to national security and to other citizens than men, and there is no such tracking system locating and verifying where Saudi Arabian men are all over the world. What threat do women, in general, pose to Saudi Arabia that requires their tracking? Women’s rights are obviously being violated in this situation, which is not surprising coming from the country which is enforcing this ridiculous process. They have no ethical or moral reason to track these women; they are only doing this to decrease their overall autonomy and privacy.

  7. I feel like if I comment I’ll just be echoing the outcry of everyone else here. One of the images I occupationally see floating around the Internet is a hungry child with text placed around the child. Usually it says something like, “C’MON, THIS IS THE 21st century?”. The argument against this would be that no one said these problems would disappear just because the century has turned. These problems have existed for hundreds of years. The only difference is the people in power have acquired new ways to suppress its people.

    This new technology is no different. Instead of using it for something helpful to all humans it’s used in this manner. My outcry is similar to all here. The subjugation of women must stop, the men of this country need to stop hiding behind religion and their government saying it’s their right to do so. Somehow, someway, these women need to be given a voice. Unfortunately, if you were brought up in a society like this you might feel as though it is the norm and is not unethical. The only way to really show it’s wrong to discriminate is to show biological evidence showing we’re really all the same, just with mutations that define us.

  8. Reading this article leaves me with many emotions filled of anger and heartbreak for these women. It is so hard to believe that with all the scientific research and biological evidence we have on men and women, that there are still countries existing today that don’t allow equal rights based on biological sex. That being said, it is an enormous invasion of privacy to have these women tracked in their vehicles. It is ridiculous enough that they need their husband’s permission to go somewhere, but now they need their every movement to be tracked?! This article reminds me to feel lucky I live in America, but also that there is so much that needs to be changed with certain countries. My hopes for their future is that (after giving women equal rights) they eventually create some kind of ethical law on technology so that a device like this would be illegal.

  9. I cannot even begin to understand why this system was ever put into place. Saudi Arabia is a much different place than America but still a tracking system for women which alerts their husbands where they go? This is a violation of so many intrinsic personal rights I don’t know where to begin. This scares me to think that there is support for a system like this anywhere in the world.

  10. It’s very sad to think that women in Saudi Arabia continue to be denied the most basic human rights. I am respectful of other cultures and other people’s belief systems, but there comes a point when I cannot seem to be anything but completely baffled as to why people are treated so cruelly. Using information technology to oppress people is an outrage; though it is commonly said that IT is neither good nor bad, it is difficult to see this abuse of IT as anything less than bad, backwards, and shameful. People should not be treated like someone else’s property, and it is so unfortunate this technology was introduced to do just that.

  11. It is very shocking that a technology such as this was even built. This form of tradition in Saudi Arabia haas been long lasting, however seem to be fading over time. As such an old tradition, it surprises me that technology would be adopted in order to help aid it. I would have thought that the people that still stand behind a tradition such as this would be even less reluctant to adopt technologies like this into their lives. I believe that this is completely unethical and technologies like this are very hurtful.

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