Abortion clinics, domestic violence shelters, and other venues where privacy is desired will have their location histories deleted by Google starting Friday.
Google senior vice president Jen Fitzpatrick said in a blog post that “if our algorithms determine that someone has visited one of these areas, we will erase these records from Location History as soon as they visit.” Within the next several weeks, this adjustment will be implemented.
In addition to fertility clinics, addiction treatment centres, and weight reduction clinics, Google will not keep location data from any of these locations.
Exactly one week after the Supreme Court’s historic decision to deny American women their constitutional right to abortion, a dozen states have banned or severely restricted the operation, and major demonstrations have taken place around the nation.
Activists and lawmakers have urged Google and other internet corporations to restrict the amount of information they gather in order to prevent it from being used by law enforcement for investigations and prosecutions involving abortion.
Reassurances about the company’s commitment to user privacy were also made by Fitzpatrick.
People’s privacy and security concerns are taken into consideration when we cooperate with government requests, and we inform them when we do so.
Reproductive rights were raised even before the Supreme Court’s decision when many conservative US states approved legislation in recent months giving the public the ability to sue physicians who perform abortions or anybody who assists in their facilitation.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai received a letter in May from several high-ranking Democratic legislators requesting him to cease collecting smartphone location data because it may be used by “far-right extremists” who want to “crack down on those seeking reproductive healthcare.”