Senate Democrats Write to Google Concerned About Abortion Workers’ Location Data


Nearly a dozen Senate Democrats sent a letter to Google this week asking how it deletes users’ location histories when they visit sensitive locations such as abortion clinics, expressing concern that the company may not be deleting data consistently as promised.

this letter On Monday, led by Senators Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren and Mazie Hirono, sought answers from Google about the types of locations Google deems sensitive and how long it takes the company to automatically delete visit histories.

This letter is from Washington post Google and other privacy advocates seem to suggest that Google is not deleting user visits to Planned Parenthood clinics’ fertility centers quickly or consistently.

“This data is deeply personal, including information about reproductive health care,” the senators wrote. “We are also concerned that it may be used to target advertisements for services that may be physically, mentally or emotionally unnecessary or potentially harmful. ”

Concerns over the security of location data have intensified in Washington since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, opening the door to state laws that restrict or punish abortion providers. Under the laws, states could compel tech companies to hand over location data that could reveal whether a person is seeking an abortion illegally, privacy advocates say.

“Claiming and publicly announcing that Google will delete sensitive location data, but not doing so consistently, could be viewed as deceitful,” the senator added, suggesting that Google’s actions could be grounds for an FTC investigation. The Commission has powers to police unfair and deceptive business practices.

Google declined to comment Wednesday on the lawmaker’s letter, instead referring CNN to a blog post that answered some but not all of the senators’ questions.

According to a blog post update dated May 12, Google defines sensitive locations as “including counseling centers, domestic violence shelters, abortion clinics, fertility centers, drug rehab, weight loss clinics, cosmetic surgery clinics, and more.” “If you visit a general medical facility such as a hospital, the visit may last.”

this blog post However, senators asked Google to explain what it meant by claiming that data would be deleted “shortly” after being accessed, which was not resolved.

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