Google becomes first company to speak about abortion clinics, go to data protection related

After the United States Supreme Court overturned a Rowe v Wade ruling that removed constitutional protections for abortion in the country, many civil rights advocates are asking a question – how will tech companies ensure online data security. And now, after several days, Google has made a decision.

The US tech giant, which has been silent like other tech companies since the controversial decision was issued, said it would automatically remove abortion clinics as well as weight loss centers, domestic violence shelters and other potentially sensitive sites from users’ locations. will start deleting. History in the coming weeks.

In a blog post shared on July 1, Google claimed that the deletion would occur “immediately” after the visit, once its system has determined that a visit was made to one of the sites.

Location History is a Google Account setting that is turned off by default, and for those who have it turned on, we provide simple controls such as auto-delete so that users can easily delete some, or all, of their data at any time. to be able to,” Google said. ,

“Some of the places people visit — including medical facilities such as counseling centers, domestic violence shelters, abortion clinics, fertility centers, addiction treatment facilities, weight loss clinics, cosmetic surgery clinics and more — can be particularly personal. Today , we are announcing that if our systems detect that someone has visited one of these locations, we will remove these entries from the location history immediately upon their departure. This change will take effect in the coming weeks. Will happen,” the post noted.

It should be noted that following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and immediate steps taken by some states to prohibit abortion, this change is taking place.

Following the Supreme Court ruling, concerns were raised by abortion rights and civil liberties advocates that there are some federal restrictions on the data that tech companies are allowed to collect and store, leaving information about an individual open to law enforcement. This makes it easier to access potentially substandard information. Location, Internet search and communication history.

Even though the major tech giants did not make any official announcements about how they would handle users’ personal data for several days, such growing concerns resulted in many American women deciding to delete period-tracking apps,

However, now according to a Google blog post titled “Protecting People’s Privacy on Health Topics,” the company has said that if people are using Fitbit’s health tracking feature, an update is on the way that will let them know about several monthly Dharma will allow the recording to be erased. Once.

“For Google Fit and Fitbit, we give users the settings and tools to easily access and control their personal data, including the option to change and delete personal information at any time.”

Additionally, it said: “For example, Fitbit users who have chosen to track their menstrual cycles in the app can currently delete their menstrual logs one at a time, and we will be releasing updates that allow users to track their menstrual cycles in one go.” Also lets you delete multiple logs.

Although Google still keeps a lot of information about your actions on its servers, the purpose of these privacy amendments is to remove specific data that can be used to sue someone seeking medical help. Google’s post says nothing about search and YouTube history, which could also be used as evidence in the investigation.

With regard to the use of users’ data by authorities, Google noted that the company has a long history of resisting overly broad requests from law enforcement, even denying some requests outright. .

Legally, Google is required to comply with specific data requests from the government (and may be forced to turn over logs if they exist) but the company said in a blog post, “We want to protect people’s privacy.” and products, and we notify people when we comply with government demands unless we are prohibited from doing so or lives are at risk – such as in an emergency In. “

In addition, Google said it would remain committed to protecting users “against unreasonable government demands for data”, and it would also continue to oppose demands that are “overly broad or otherwise legally objectionable.”

The post said that to reduce privacy and promote transparency around government data requests, the tech giant will also continue to support bipartisan legislation like the NDO Fairness Act, which was recently enacted by the House of Representatives.

However, apart from Google, no other company in the US has disclosed its plans regarding data sharing and data security at this crucial moment and this is a concern as Google is not the only company that can help people or their smartphones. Keeping an eye on Been there for the whole day.

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