Google will strengthen privacy measures for people planning to terminate a pregnancy by automatically deleting abortion clinic visits from account location history. The decision, which is expected to take effect in the coming weeks, comes after the US Supreme Court ruled that the right to abortion is no longer constitutional, leaving it up to states to decide whether or not to allow such procedures in their territories.
The company feared that prosecutors in states where abortion is illegal can use location data stored by tech companies to track women seeking to terminate a pregnancy.
According to Google, after the visit, the location data will be deleted by default. This also applies to trips to counseling centers, domestic violence shelters, fertility clinics, addiction treatment facilities, weight loss clinics and plastic surgery clinics.
O Google even offers an option to manually clear your location history or turn it off. Additionally, you can automatically delete location data using Google’s activity controls, which allow you to automatically delete trips saved in your location history after a certain period of time.
This move comes in a scenario in which Google and Apple are in the crosshairs of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a regulatory body that protects the rights of consumers in the United States, for allegedly enabling user identifiers on Android and iOS, facilitating the generation of revenue using user data collected directly by the operating system of their cell phones and tablets.