Google said on Friday that it would delete abortion clinic visits from the location history of its users, in the company’s first effort to address how it will handle sensitive data in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.
The location data change will take place in the coming weeks, Jen Fitzpatrick, a Google senior vice president, wrote in a blog post. The policy will also apply to trips to fertility clinics, domestic violence shelters, addiction treatment facilities and other sensitive locations.
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Google to erase more location info as abortion bans expand
Google will automatically purge information about users who visit abortion clinics or other places that could trigger legal problems now that the U.S. Supreme Court has opened the door for states to ban the termination of pregnancies.
The company behind the internet’s dominant internet search engine and the Android software that powers most of the world’s smartphones outlined the new privacy protections in a Friday blog post.
Google will delete location history data for abortion clinic visits
Alphabet will delete location data showing when users visit an abortion clinic, the online search company said on Friday, after concern that a digital trail could inform law enforcement if an individual terminates a pregnancy illegally.
Planned Parenthood suspends marketing trackers on abortion search pages
Planned Parenthood said it will remove the marketing trackers on its search pages related to abortions and that no protected health information has been breached thus far.
Protecting people’s privacy on health topics
Protecting our users’ privacy and securing their data is core to Google’s work. That’s why we design products to help people keep their personal information private, safe, and secure — with easy-to-use tools and built-in protections.
Privacy matters to people — especially around topics such as their health. Given that these issues apply to healthcare providers, telecommunications companies, banks, tech platforms, and many more, we know privacy protections cannot be solely up to individual companies or states acting individually. That’s why we’ve long advocated for a comprehensive and nationwide U.S. privacy law that guarantees protections for everyone, and we’re pleased to see recent progress in Congress.
But we haven’t waited for a law to take action. We understand that people rely on Google to keep their personal data secure. We’ve long been committed to this work, and today we’re sharing additional steps we’re taking to protect user privacy around health issues.
EU consumer groups take aim at Google’s ‘surveillance system’
Ten consumer groups coordinated by the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) have accused Google of unfairly steering consumers to sign up for a Google account, allowing the company to harvest large amounts of personal data.