From Nicole, Accountable Tech <[email protected]>
Subject Google is *still* endangering abortion-seekers
Date April 14, 2023 12:05 PM
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Hey there --

Despite repeated claims to the contrary, Google still collects and retains at least two distinct pieces of location data from individuals visiting abortion clinics, which could be weaponized by prosecutors.

Watch our Policy Manager, Aditi, show in real-time how Google is still collecting and retaining this sensitive location data on ​​NBC News:

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After Roe v. Wade was overturned, Google promised in July 2022 to protect sensitive health data by deleting the Location History of users who visited abortion clinics [1]. However, our latest experiment shows that the Location History for a short trip to an abortion clinic — like someone dropping off a friend or family member — is still collected and retained if a user has Location History enabled on their Google Account.

On top of that, Google is collecting and retaining location search queries for abortion clinics by default for 18 months. That means if you search for an abortion clinic on Google Maps, that information will be kept in your Google Account for 18 months, possibly putting you at risk.

Given that Google complies with over 75% of government requests for data, this sensitive location data could be subpoenaed and weaponized by right-wing state governments to prosecute those seeking or assisting with reproductive health care. [2]

At the end of the day, Google went out of its way to promise users protection in post-Roe America, but they are still not meeting that commitment. Big Tech’s toxic business model of surveillance advertising continues to compromise our privacy and safety.

They deserve a whole lot of accountability and that’s why we’re here.


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Nicole Gill
Co-founder and Executive Director
Accountable Tech

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[1] Washington Post: [link removed] [[link removed]]

[2] Google: [link removed] [[link removed]]

We see the irony of asking you to take action on the same platforms we’re fighting to hold accountable, but they are… well… dominant. We have to reach people where they are in order to level the playing field -- and we’re ready to bring the fight right to their own platforms.

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