Google to delete user location history on US abortion clinic visits

Google has faced calls to limit smartphone data collection in the wake of anti-abortion laws passed in the United States

Google announced Friday it would delete users’ location history when they visit abortion clinics, domestic violence shelters and other places where privacy is sought.

“If our systems identify that someone has visited one of these places, we will delete these entries from Location History soon after they visit,” Jen Fitzpatrick, a senior vice president at Google, wrote in a blog post. “This change will take effect in the coming weeks.”

The announcement comes a week after the US Supreme Court made the constitutional decision to strip American women rights to abortion, leading a dozen states to ban or severely restrict the procedure and prompting mass protests across the country.

Fitzpatrick also sought to reassure users that the company takes data privacy seriously.

“We take into account the privacy and security expectations of people using our products, and we notify people when we comply with government demands.”

That led a group of top Democratic lawmakers in May to send a letter to Google chief executive Sundar Pichai, asking him to stop collecting smartphone location data lest it become “a tool for far-right extremists looking to crack down on people seeking reproductive health care .”

Originally published as Google to delete user location history on US abortion clinic visits


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