Google will automatically delete records of abortion clinic visits

Google will automatically delete records of abortion clinics visits following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The new policy is in response to growing alarm that the data Google and other technology companies routinely collect about people’s online activities could be used by authorities in states where abortion is now illegal.

Google says it will delete records of visits to medical facilities that may be “particularly personal” including counseling centers, domestic violence shelters, abortion clinics, fertility centers, addiction treatment facilities, weight loss clinics and cosmetic surgery clinics

Other data kept by Google could be used to prosecute people seeking an abortion such as search history.

Privacy watchdogs said the company still isn’t doing enough to protect the data of tens of millions of Americans at a particularly vulnerable moment.

"In response to a sea change in intimate privacy, Google is pledging certain narrow changes to its practices such as automatically deleting sensitive location data," law professor Ryan Calo

"But the onus remains fundamentally on the consumer to try to manage their own privacy."

Google tracks the habits and locations of millions, potentially turning it into a “tool for far-right extremists looking to crack down on people seeking reproductive health care,”

The company is legally required to comply with government demands though Google says it pushes back against “overly broad demands from law enforcement”

Google also said it would make it possible for Fitbit wearable device users who track their periods in the app to delete more than one menstrual log at a time.


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