Google has been repeatedly asked to restrict what data is collected and stored. After the US Supreme Court overturned the Roe vs. Wade’s ruling, thus repealing a woman’s federal right to an abortion, allows each state to decide whether abortion should be allowed. Abortion is already banned in a number of states. Abortion bans are expected in half of the US states.
Some countries have a complete ban, while others have a ban after the sixth or fifteenth week or an exception for rape, incest, or if the mother’s life is in danger. Some countries allow women who have abortions to be prosecuted in other countries where it is legal.
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Many fear that state authorities will use data from technology companies to prove that women have miscarried, and among other things, Google has received a number of requests to limit the data being collected. This isn’t the first time Google has been asked to secure private health information. This information is interesting, among other things, to banks, insurance companies, and health care companies.
Before the Supreme Court ruling, Albert Fox Kahn, CEO of STOP (Surveillance Technology Surveillance Project), told Politico that conservative regimes could use the information to monitor women.
“We will see that all the tools that have been developed to improve healthcare, will now be used as a kind of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale tracking system,'” he said. Politico.
Now at Google, For the first time, according to the Washington Post, It responded to the public’s desire to restrict private information.
Google announced Friday that it will delete a location history that shows where and when users have visited abortion clinics in the United States. Google will also delete location information if users visit shelters, plastic surgery clinics, bariatric clinics, or other sensitive sites. Google writes in the blog that Location History is turned off by default for users, and that it should be easy to check what information Google has collected in various apps.
Google fears that, by geolocation, authorities in countries where abortion is prohibited will find women who have had abortions in other countries.
Google writes that it has a long tradition of denying access requests from police, among other things.
Google wrote in Blog.
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