Google to delete location history for visits to abortion clinics

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Google will mechanically purge details about customers who go to abortion clinics or different locations that might set off authorized issues now that the U.S. Supreme Court docket has opened the door for states to ban the termination of pregnancies.

The corporate behind the web’s dominant web search engine and the Android software program that powers a lot of the world’s smartphones outlined the brand new privateness protections in a Friday blog post.

Apart from mechanically deleting visits to abortion clinics, Google additionally cited counseling facilities, fertility facilities, dependancy remedy services, weight reduction clinics, and beauty surgical procedure clinics as different locations that can be erased from customers’ location histories. Customers have at all times had the choice edit their location histories on their very own, however Google will proactively do it for them as an added stage of safety.

“We’re committed to delivering robust privacy protections for people who use our products, and we will continue to look for new ways to strengthen and improve these protections,” Jen Fitzpatrick, a Google senior vp, wrote within the weblog submit.

The pledge comes amid escalating stress on Google and different Large Tech firms to do extra to shield the troves of sensitive personal information by way of their digital companies and merchandise from authorities authorities and different outsiders.

The requires extra stringent privateness controls have been triggered by the U.S. Supreme Court docket’s latest determination overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion. That reversal might make abortion unlawful in additional than a dozen states, elevating the specter that data about individuals’s location, texts, searches and emails might be utilized in prosecutions in opposition to abortion procedures and even for medical care sought in a miscarriage.

Like different know-how firms, Google annually receives 1000’s of presidency calls for for customers’ digital data as a part of misconduct investigations. Google says it pushes again in opposition to search warrants and different calls for which might be overly broad or look like baseless.

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