In the upcoming weeks, Google says it would begin automatically removing visits to weight loss centres, domestic violence shelters, abortion clinics, and other potentially sensitive sites from users’ location history. The business claims that the deletion will take place “short after” the visit, once its systems have determined that a journey was made to one of the sites, in a blog post on Friday. Following the Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade and the immediate steps taken by some states to restrict abortions, this change is taking place.
You can also completely disable Google’s location logging by following the guidelines it provides here.
Google also adds that a Fitbit update is coming that will allow you to remove numerous menstruation logs at once if you’ve been utilising 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 activities 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 likewise be used as evidence in investigations. Google has been contacted by us to inquire about any further measures it may be taking to protect user data.
Google reiterates that it would “continue to oppose demands that are overly broad or otherwise legally objectionable,” 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 specifically 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 sources of 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. Additionally, the corporation may not be the only one monitoring the movements of your smartphone. You may read our in-depth post on the privacy dangers that persons seeking care may now encounter for more information.