Google to Delete Location History for Abortion Clinic Visits

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It will also delete visits to other sensitive locations. 

Auto-Delete Visits to Abortion Clinics 

On Friday, Google stated that it will quickly delete location history for individuals visiting abortion sites. It is the tech giant’s move after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last week. 

Location History is a setting on your Google account. By default, it is off. If you enable it, you can auto-delete and eliminate all or parts of your data at any time. 

Google believes that some of the places that people visit are personal. These would include fertility centers, abortion clinics, domestic violence shelters, and others. 

“Today, we’re announcing that if our systems identify that someone has visited one of these places, we will delete these entries from Location History soon after they visit. This change will take effect in the coming weeks.”


Alphabet is the owner of Google. And it owns many popular devices and data services. And many raised their concerns after the Supreme Court ruling.

Authorities could use these data considering that abortion is now potentially criminal activity. 

Google will also roll out updates to the Fitbit app to allow users to expunge multiple menstrual logs at once. 

The updates will remove some data from Google’s servers that can be used to charge people for getting an abortion. However, Google will still store other data about users’ activities. The tech giant failed to mention Search and YouTube histories. Data here could also be utilized in investigations. 

Google may still need to adhere to certain government requirements for data. But it restates that it will not comply with demands that are legally objectionable. And if it does divulge users’ data to the government, users will get a notification. 

Abortion Rights

But many companies are still quiet about abortion rights after the SC overturned Roe V. Wade. They did offer travel costs for abortion. Google announced that it would pay its employees if they wish to relocate because of the ruling. 

However, none of them stated that they were against the ruling. Many major tech firms have yet to introduce commitments to protect the data of their users. 

Abortion rights advocates warned that there are federal regulations on what data are collected and retained by these firms. In states with strict abortion laws, these data have been utilized to prosecute people for pregnancy termination. One example is when a woman’s online search for abortion pills has been used against her in court. 

Civil rights advocates urged tech companies to find more ways to stop the authorities from using these data to criminalize people who are seeking abortion healthcare. 

But authorities will not only target these major tech companies over data practices. Smaller companies must also be ready. However, some of them have already taken public stands

The Electronic Foundation (EFF) advised tech companies to prepare for a future where they have to hand over user data to authorities to prosecute abortion providers and seekers. EFF also recommends end-to-end encryption by default. The tech companies should also stop collecting location information. 

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Author: Jane Danes

Jane has a lifelong passion for writing. As a blogger, she loves writing breaking technology news and top headlines about gadgets, content marketing and online entrepreneurship and all things about social media. She also has a slight addiction to pizza and coffee.

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