Google to erase abortion clinic visits from its location history

Google said Friday it will continue to push back against improper or overly broad government data demands. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Alphabet will remove location information indicating when users visit an abortion clinic, the online search company announced on Friday, in response to concerns that a digital trail could alert law police if a woman terminates her pregnancy illegally.

As state laws restricting abortions take effect following the US Supreme Court's decision last month that the constitution no longer guarantees them, the technology industry is concerned that police could obtain warrants for search history, geolocation, and other information revealing pregnancy plans.

Google stated on Friday that it would continue to oppose improper or overly broad government data requests without mentioning abortion.

The corporation stated that a Google account's location history is disabled by default.

In the coming weeks, location history entries showing sensitive locations such as fertility centers, abortion clinics, and addiction treatment facilities will be removed shortly after a visit for people who use the feature.

A Google spokesman did not immediately respond to how the business would detect such visits and whether all associated data would be purged from its systems.

Google is the first technology company to openly state how it would handle user data in response to worries regarding the court order and how it can be weaponized and imposed by law enforcement.

Separately, the business revised its policy on Friday to classify US advertisers who give pills by mail following a virtual consultation but lack facilities as providers of abortions.

Publish : 2022-07-02 16:30:00

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