The repeal or annulment of the right to abortion in the United States by the Supreme Court is bringing a lot of queue both inside and outside the country. In addition to a large number of states that have already approved or are passing laws to prohibit this practice, some companies like Google have announced that they will reinforce the privacy of their users so that they can eliminate the trace of the locations they visit.
Google has not commented explicitly on the US Supreme Court’s decision, but few doubt that the recently announced changes are, at least in part, a response to that event.
The Mountain View giant has announced that location history is disabled by default, but if you enable it, it will take care of providing “simple controls like auto delete so users can easily delete some or all of their data at any time.”
“Some of the places people visit (including medical facilities like counseling centers, domestic violence shelters, abortion clinics, fertility centers, addiction treatment centers, weight loss clinics, cosmetic surgery clinics, and others) can be particularly personal. Today we announce that if our systems identify that someone has visited one of these places, we will remove these entries from Location History shortly after the visit. This change will take effect in the coming weeks..
In addition to the location history, Google has recalled that its Play Store (the digital store) has implemented “strict protocols to protect user privacy”in addition to policies that prohibit developers from selling personal or sensitive data and require them to handle such data securely and only for the purposes of the application.
Pulling logic, many will have thought of the Maps service, but Google has long gone much further when it comes to recording user data. The company has commented that through Google Fit and Fitbit offers users “settings and tools to easily access and control your personal data, including the option to change and delete personal information, at any time. For example, Fitbit users who have opted to track their menstrual cycles in the app can now delete one menstrual record at a time, and we will release updates that allow users to delete multiple records at once.”.
Finally we have Google’s commitment to law enforcement. Although the corporation surely has a large team of lawyers on its payroll, sometimes it reaches the point that it has no loophole to oppose. At this point, it has promised to offer transparency through its corresponding report, protect its users “against inappropriate government data demands” and oppose “to claims that are too broad or legally objectionable”. In addition, they will support laws that force the government to be more transparent with its data demands.
As we have already said, Google has not commented explicitly on the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States to reverse its decision in the Roe v. Wade case, but the announced changes are aimed at trying to protect women’s data, in addition to other people whose situation is delicate.