Google will auto-delete abortion clinic visits from consumer location historical past

Google says it’ll begin routinely deleting visits to abortion clinics, home violence shelters, weight reduction clinics, and different doubtlessly delicate areas from customers’ location histories within the coming weeks. In a weblog publish on Friday, the corporate says that the deletion will occur “quickly after” the go to, as soon as its methods have recognized {that a} journey was made to one of many areas. This variation is going on within the wake of the Supreme Court docket’s choice to overturn Roe v. Wade and the strikes a number of states have instantly made to outlaw abortions.

It’s also possible to flip off Google’s location logging altogether by following its directions right here.

Google’s publish, entitled “Defending folks’s privateness on well being subjects,” additionally mentions that there’s an replace coming for Fitbit that may allow you to delete a number of menstruation logs directly in case you’ve been utilizing the well being monitoring characteristic.

These privateness updates are supposed to take away choose information from Google’s servers that could possibly be used to prosecute folks for in search of care, however the firm nonetheless shops quite a lot of different information about your actions. Search and YouTube histories may be used as proof in investigations, and Google’s publish doesn’t point out something about these. We’ve reached out to Google to ask about every other steps it might be taking to guard customers’ information.

Whereas Google legally has to adjust to sure authorities calls for for information (and could possibly be compelled to show over logs in the event that they exist), the corporate reiterates that it’ll “proceed to oppose calls for which might be overly broad or in any other case legally objectionable.” Google additionally says that it’ll notify customers when it offers their information to the federal government, except it’s been ordered not to take action or there’s a urgent safety concern.

Information privateness issues round abortion transcend Google: official medical data aren’t as personal as many people assume, and every little thing from textual content messages and buy data could possibly be used in opposition to you in court docket. Plus, the corporate isn’t essentially the one entity preserving tabs on the place your smartphone has been. For more information, you possibly can learn our article that goes in depth on the privateness dangers that folks in search of care might now face.

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