Location history will be deleted shortly after visit of a woman at an abortion clinic.
After weeks of silence on this subject, Google announced on Friday that users' location data will be automatically deleted in the event of a visit in a clinic specializing in abortions.
“If our systems determine that a person has visited a [sensitive] property, we will delete that location history data shortly after the visit.
— Jen Fitzpatrick, Vice President of Google
This decision comes a week after the United States Supreme Court struck down the federal law of voluntary termination of pregnancy (IVG).
Democratic lawmakers and human rights groups fear that the personal information of women who have had abortions or people who allegedly helped them will be used against them by prosecutors in conservative states where abortions are banned.
They have therefore been calling on major tech platforms for weeks to stop storing so much personal data, whether it's online research on abortion or travel on apps like Google Maps.< /p>
However, Google, Meta (Facebook, Instagram) and Apple have remained very quiet so far.
Jen Fitzpatrick reminds that location history is disabled by default and users can control what is and is not kept. has a habit of rejecting them when they are too demanding.
“We consider the privacy and security expectations of people who use our products and notify them when we comply with requests government, unless lives are at stake.”
—Jen Fitzpatrick, Vice President of Google
Among the sensitive establishments affected by Friday's decision, Google includes domestic violence shelters, weight loss clinics and drug rehabilitation centers.
Some laws passed even before the Supreme Court ruling, such as in Texas last September, encourage ordinary citizens to sue women suspected of having abortions or against people who have had them. helped, even an Uber driver who would have taken them to the clinic, for example.
Google's technologies therefore risk becoming tools for extremists who want to repress people seeking health care, 42 US lawmakers wrote in an open letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai in late May.
Indeed, Google retains information on the geographical location of cen tains of millions of smartphone users, which he regularly shares with government agencies, they detailed.