Google to delete consumer location historical past on US abortion clinic visits

Google has faced calls to limit smartphone data collection in the wake of anti-abortion laws passed in the United States
Google has confronted calls to restrict smartphone knowledge assortment within the wake of anti-abortion legal guidelines handed in america.

Google introduced Friday it might delete customers’ location historical past once they go to abortion clinics, home violence shelters and different locations the place privateness is sought.

“If our techniques determine that somebody has visited certainly one of these locations, we’ll delete these entries from Location Historical past quickly after they go to,” Jen Fitzpatrick, a senior vp at Google, wrote in a weblog publish. “This modification will take impact within the coming weeks.”

Different locations from which Google is not going to retailer location knowledge embody fertility facilities, habit remedy amenities, and weight reduction clinics.

The announcement comes every week after the US Supreme Courtroom made the tectonic choice to strip American ladies of constitutional rights to abortion, main a dozen states to ban or severely prohibit the process and prompting mass protests throughout the nation.

Activists and politicians have been calling on Google and different tech giants to restrict the quantity of knowledge they accumulate to keep away from it being utilized by regulation enforcement for investigations and prosecutions.

Fitzpatrick additionally sought to reassure customers that the corporate takes knowledge privateness severely.

“Google has a protracted observe report of pushing again on overly broad calls for from regulation enforcement, together with objecting to some calls for totally,” she wrote.

“We bear in mind the privateness and safety expectations of individuals utilizing our merchandise, and we notify folks after we adjust to authorities calls for.”

Issues over smartphone knowledge and reproductive rights arose even earlier than the Supreme Courtroom ruling, when a number of conservative US states in current months handed legal guidelines that give members of the general public the correct to sue docs who carry out abortions—or anybody who helps facilitate them.

That led a bunch of high Democratic lawmakers in Could to ship a letter to Google chief government Sundar Pichai, asking him to cease gathering smartphone location knowledge lest it grow to be “a instrument for far-right extremists seeking to crack down on folks searching for reproductive well being care.”

© 2022 AFP

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