Google Will Delete User Location History For Abortion Clinics

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In order to protect user privacy after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Google is taking action.

Google will now instantly delete location entries from people’s accounts right after they visit “particularly personal” medical facilities. These include abortion clinics and domestic violence shelters. In the next couple of weeks, the change will become effective.

“We understand that people rely on Google to keep their personal data secure. We’ve long been committed to this work…,” stated Jen Fitzpatrick, Senior VP at Google.

The company will also add a component for users to delete several menstruation logs automatically on Google Fit and Fitbit apps.

Google’s announcement comes as the Supreme Court has decided to permit states to ban abortions. More than 12 states are expected to ban the procedure, and these bans could result in criminal consequences for abortion providers and patients.

Reports indicate that following the ruling, social media users began to call for individuals to get rid of period-tracking apps. They also warned of taking other precautions for medical confidentiality on their phones. However, those actions may not be enough.

Other location history entries that Google will delete will include counseling centers, fertility centers, addiction treatment facilities, and weight loss clinics. Tracking location history is off by default. It can be turned on whenever a user wishes.

In recent years, large tech businesses have been criticized for gathering user data and for their influence in politics.



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