- Google will delete a person’s location history if they visit abortion clinics.
- Additionally, Google will also delete the history of visits to other sensitive sites such as therapy or rehabilitation centers.
- Now Google will delete this history as an additional layer of protection for users.
Google will automatically delete data from users who visit abortion clinics and other places that could get them into legal trouble now that the US Supreme Court has struck down the constitutional right to abortion, opening the door for states to ban the procedure.
The company behind the internet’s leading search engine and whose Android software powers most of the world’s cell phones outlined the new privacy protections in a blog post last Friday, according to The Associated Press.
Google will delete location history of those who visit abortion clinics
Aside from automatically deleting visits to abortion clinics, Google stated that therapy and counseling centers, fertility centers, addiction treatment facilities, weight loss clinics, and plastic surgery clinics, will also be removed from users’ location history.
Users have always had the option to edit their location histories, but now Google will do it for them automatically as an added level of protection.
An extra level of protection
“We’re committed to delivering robust privacy protections for people who use our products, and we will continue to look for new ways to strengthen and improve these protections,” said Jen Fitzpatrick, vice president of Google, in the blog.
The announcement comes amid growing pressure on Google and other tech giants to do more to protect their users’ personal information from authorities on their digital products and services.
Google responds to requests for privacy protections
Calls to implement stricter privacy controls were sparked by the Supreme Court ruling which overturned Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion in the US. That ruling could make abortion illegal in more than a dozen states, raising fears that people’s location, text, search and email histories could be used to prosecute people for receiving abortion procedures or even for medical abortion care.
Like other technology companies, Google receives thousands of government requests each year for the digital records of its users as part of investigations. Google says it rejects applications and other claims that are ambiguous or appear unfounded.