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Google will remove location data from abortion clinics

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If our systems identify that a person has visited a facility [sensible]we will delete these location history entries shortly after they are visited. »

A quote from Jen Fitzpatrick, Vice President

This decision comes a week after the Supreme Court of the United States revoked the federal right to voluntary termination of pregnancy (abortion).

Democratic lawmakers and human rights groups fear that the personal information of women who have had abortions or individuals who allegedly helped them will be used against them by prosecutors in conservative states that have banned theAbortion.

They have therefore been calling for weeks on major technology platforms to no longer store so much personal data, from online research on abortion to travel on applications like Google Maps.

But Google, Meta (Facebook, Instagram) and Apple have been very quiet so far.

Jen Fitzpatrick reminds that location history is turned off by default and users can control what is kept or not.

Customer expectations

Regarding the requests of the authorities, she also assures that Google is used to push back when they are too extensive.

We consider the privacy and security expectations of people who use our products and notify them when we comply with government requests, unless lives are at stake. »

A quote from Jen Fitzpatrick, Vice President

Among the sensitive establishments affected by Friday’s decision, Google includes shelters for domestic violence, clinics specializing in weight loss and detoxification centers.

Some laws passed even before the Supreme Court ruling, such as in Texas in September, encourage ordinary citizens to sue women suspected of having abortions or people who helped them – even an Uber driver who allegedly took them at the clinic, for example.

Google’s technologies therefore risk becoming tools for extremists who want to suppress people seeking reproductive health carewrote 42 American elected officials in an open letter, addressed at the end of May to the leader of Google Sundar Pichai.

Because Google keeps information about the geographic location of hundreds of millions of smartphone users, which it regularly shares with government agenciesthey detailed.

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