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Senators Want Google and Apple to Secure Abortion Hunters

The business have actually been asked to ensure apps on their platforms ‘do not use information practices that threaten the health and wellbeing of people looking for abortion services.’

Democratic senators from Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont, and New Jersey have actually corresponded to Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and Apple CEO Tim Cook asking to restrict the quantity of information apps on their platforms are permitted to gather in a quote to secure people looking for abortions.

“Following the leak of the Supreme Court’s draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade,” the senators state(Opens in a brand-new window), “we are concerned that anti-abortion prosecutors and other actors will attempt to access and leverage personal information—including data regarding location, online activity, health, and biometrics—in ways that threaten the wellbeing of those exercising their right to choose.”

Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (D-VT), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) sent out the letters to Pichai and Prepare on May 27. The letters equal save for particular recommendations to the Google Play Shop and the App Shop.

The senators alert that, “should the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade, anti-abortion prosecutors and even vigilantes may be able to exploit online mining of data from apps” on the business’ platforms “to stop individuals from accessing abortion services or to target them retrospectively.” They desire Pichai and Prepare to secure their users by avoiding that information mining.

These safeguards might show crucial if Roe v. Wade is reversed. Motherboard has actually reported throughout Might about information brokers offering info about people who check out(Opens in a brand-new window) abortion centers—with one supplying “heat maps”(Opens in a brand-new window) of where such people live— and people who utilize duration tracking apps(Opens in a brand-new window). Some have actually stopped marketing that information(Opens in a brand-new window) when pushed, however others continue to offer it.

“Information about app users’ fertility, browsing history indicating an interest in contraception, or location information showing that a user visited a gynecologist could become a data trove for actors who are intent on targeting, intimidating, and harming individuals who seek abortions or individuals who simply take steps to promote their reproductive health,” the senators state.

Markey, Warren, Sanders, and Booker have actually asked Pichai and Prepare to address a series of 7 concerns relating to the policies of their platforms and the enforcement of those policies by June 17. Neither business right away reacted to an ask for remark.

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