Health

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



Google will mechanically delete location historical past when customers go to delicate locations like abortion clinics, based on a weblog posted final week.  

Within the submit, the tech large stated the placement historical past setting on Google accounts is off by default, and customers who flip it on can take away knowledge at any time. The brand new protections will delete entries from locations like counseling facilities, home violence shelters, fertility facilities, dependancy therapy amenities, weight reduction clinics and beauty surgical procedure clinics quickly after customers go to. The function will likely be added within the coming weeks.

Google additionally stated it plans to roll out updates to Fitbit that may enable customers who monitor their intervals to delete a number of menstruation logs directly. Customers can at present take away logs separately.

“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 vice chairman of core techniques and experiences at Google, wrote within the weblog submit.

“We help Congressional efforts to succeed in bipartisan settlement on nationwide privateness protections that transfer the burden of privateness off people and set up good knowledge practices throughout the board.” 

THE LARGER TREND

After Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court docket final month, privateness consultants have raised considerations private knowledge could possibly be used as proof {that a} consumer sought an abortion. 

Interval-tracking app Flo final week introduced it might quickly launch an “nameless mode,” permitting folks to make use of the app with out private electronic mail, title and technical identifiers. Different apps launched statements discussing their privateness and data-sharing insurance policies

In the meantime, the Workplace for Civil Rights within the U.S. Division of Well being and Human Companies launched steering final week addressing how federal legislation and laws shield people’ protected well being data regarding abortion and different reproductive healthcare. It additionally clarified what medical data is protected on private units like smartphones, and supplied solutions for privateness safety when utilizing well being apps.

Some senators are calling on HHS to replace HIPAA to make sure sufferers’ well being data cannot be shared with legislation enforcement companies which might be focusing on individuals who might have had an abortion. 

“When HIPAA was signed into legislation in 1996, Roe v. Wade had upheld the fitting 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 elementary proper greater than 20 years later.”





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