Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed states to outlaw the termination of pregnancies, Google will automatically delete information about users who visit abortion clinics and other locations that could cause legal issues.
California’s MOUNTAIN VIEW (AP) — Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed states to outlaw the termination of pregnancies, Google will automatically delete information about users who visit abortion clinics or other locations that could cause legal issues.
The organization that created the most popular internet search engine and the Android operating system, which runs on the majority of smartphones worldwide, described the new privacy precautions in a blog post on Friday.
Along with visits to abortion clinics, Google said that visits to counseling offices, fertility clinics, drug rehab centers, weight reduction centers, and cosmetic surgery offices would also be automatically removed from users’ location records. Users always could manually edit their location records, but Google will now do it as an extra layer of security.
Jen Fitzpatrick, a senior vice president at Google, stated in the blog post, “We’re committed to ensuring robust privacy protections for everyone who uses our products, and we will continue to seek innovative ways to reinforce and improve these protections.
The commitment comes amid growing pressure on Google and other Big Tech firms to take more steps to protect the vast amounts of sensitive personal information made available through their digital services and products from outsiders and government authorities.
The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade judgment that legalized abortion prompted calls for stricter privacy measures. The possibility exists that records about people’s whereabouts, texts, searches, and emails could be utilized in prosecutions against abortion practices or even for medical care sought after a miscarriage. This reversal could render abortion illegal in more than a dozen states.
Google receives thousands of requests from the government each year for access to customer data records as part of misconduct investigations, much like other technology businesses. According to Google, it opposes search warrants and other demands that are unduly broad or seem unjustified.
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