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Google says it’s going to delete customers’ location historical past for abortion clinic visits

Google will routinely delete location historical past when customers go to delicate locations like abortion clinics, in response to a blog posted last week.  

Within the submit, the tech big mentioned the situation historical past setting on Google accounts is off by default, and customers who flip it on can take away information at any time. The brand new protections will delete entries from locations like counseling facilities, home violence shelters, fertility facilities, habit remedy services, weight reduction clinics and beauty surgical procedure clinics quickly after customers go to. The characteristic can be added within the coming weeks.

Google additionally mentioned it plans to roll out updates to Fitbit that may enable customers who monitor their durations to delete a number of menstruation logs without delay. Customers can presently take away logs one after the other.

"We’re dedicated to delivering sturdy privateness protections for individuals who use our merchandise, and we'll proceed to search for new methods to strengthen and enhance these protections," Jen Fitzpatrick, senior vp of core methods and experiences at Google, wrote within the weblog submit.

"We assist Congressional efforts to succeed in bipartisan settlement on nationwide privateness protections that transfer the burden of privateness off people and set up good information practices throughout the board." 


After Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court docket final month, privacy experts have raised considerations personal data could be used as evidence {that a} person sought an abortion. 

Interval-tracking app Flo last week announced it might quickly launch an "nameless mode," permitting individuals to make use of the app with out private e-mail, identify and technical identifiers. Different apps released statements discussing their privacy and data-sharing policies

In the meantime, the Workplace for Civil Rights within the U.S. Division of Well being and Human Companies released guidance final week addressing how federal legislation and rules defend people' protected well being data referring to abortion and different reproductive healthcare. It additionally clarified what medical data is protected on private gadgets like smartphones, and supplied ideas for privateness safety when utilizing well being apps.

Some senators are calling on HHS to update HIPAA to make sure sufferers' well being data cannot be shared with legislation enforcement businesses which are concentrating on individuals who could have had an abortion. 

"When HIPAA was signed into legislation in 1996, Roe v. Wade had upheld the correct to an abortion for over 20 years," Senators Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., wrote to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. "When the HIPAA Privateness Rule was issued in 2000, it might have been unimaginable that the Supreme Court docket would strip away this basic proper greater than 20 years later."

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