In the upcoming weeks, Google says it would begin automatically removing visits to weight loss centers, domestic violence shelters, abortion clinics, and other potentially sensitive sites from users’ location history. The business claims that the deletion will occur “shortly after” the visit, once its systems have determined that a journey was made to one of the sites, in a blog post on Friday. This change is taking place following the US Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade and the immediate steps taken by some states to restrict abortions.
Google also adds that a Fitbit update will allow you to remove numerous menstruation logs at once if you’ve been utilizing the health tracking feature in its post titled “Protecting people’s privacy on health matters.”
Although Google still keeps a lot of information about your actions on its servers, these privacy modifications are intended to remove specific data that could be used to prosecute someone for seeking medical attention. Google’s post says nothing about search and YouTube histories, which may be used as evidence in investigations.
Google reiterates that it would “continue to fight demands that are excessively broad or otherwise legally unacceptable,” even though the business is legally required to accede to some government requests for data (and may be forced to pass over logs if they exist). Google also states that, unless expressly prohibited by law or in the interest of immediate security, it will alert users before providing their data to the government.
Beyond Google, there are other data privacy concerns about abortion: official medical records aren’t as private as we want to think, and anything from text messages to purchasing history could be used against you in court.