Home » Google Urged to Stop Tracking Location Data Ahead of Roe Reversal

Google Urged to Stop Tracking Location Data Ahead of Roe Reversal

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40 or more Democratic House of Representatives called Google To stop collecting and retaining customer location data that prosecutors can use to identify women who have had an abortion.

“In a world where abortion can be illegal, Google’s current practice of collecting and retaining extensive records of mobile phone location data is trying to crack down on people seeking abortion. Reproductive Healthcare. This is because Google stores historical location information about hundreds of millions of smartphone users and regularly shares it with government agencies. . ” Democrats wrote May 24th and letter It is led by Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) And Senator Anna Esch (D-Calif.).The letter was sent to Google CEO Sundar Pichai..

Specifically, Google should stop collecting “unwanted customer location data” or “non-aggregated location data for individual customers,” whether in identifiable or anonymized format. I have. Google cannot allow women to use a digital infrastructure focused on online advertising as a weapon, “said lawmakers. They also told Google that iPhone users “have more privacy from government surveillance of movements than the tens of millions of Americans who use Android devices.”

The Supreme Court decision draft Capsize Roe v. Wade Strict restrictions or bans on abortion may continue in many states, the Democratic Party wrote: discuss All 50 states have passed laws that criminalize abortion and put the government under the control of women’s bodies. “

Location data from Android phone

In their letter, Democrats told Pichai:

Google deserves to admit that it was one of the first companies in the United States to claim a warrant before disclosing location data to law enforcement agencies, but that’s not enough. If abortion is illegal by the Supreme Court and Republican legislators on the far right, right-wing prosecutors will obtain a legal warrant to hunt down, prosecute, and imprison women for important reproductive care. Is inevitable. The only way to protect your customer’s location data from such exorbitant government oversight is to not retain it in the first place.

Google gets more information “from an Android smartphone that collects location information and sends it to Google, regardless of whether the smartphone is used or the app the user is opening.”in the meantime Android Users must opt ​​in to this data collection. “Google is designing the Android operating system, and consumers only allow third-party apps to access location data if Google also allows them to receive location data, in contrast. Google can only collect location data if iPhone users are using the Google Maps app, “said a lawmaker.

I contacted Google yesterday about the letter and will update this article if I get a reply.

Even for some Google employees, how Google’s location privacy settings work was a matter of confusion.As us Written in August 2020A consumer fraud proceeding document filed by Arizona against Google states, “Company employees know that the privacy settings of a company’s location can be confusing and misleading. It shows that. “

Democrats say iPhone users have more privacy

Since many cheap smartphones use Android, lawmakers warned that the “digital divide” would impact the privacy of low-income earners.

There is no law that requires Google to collect and keep records of all customer movements. Apple has shown that smartphone companies don’t need to maintain an invasive tracking database of customer locations. Google deliberately chose to do so by creating a new digital divide with extravagant privacy and security. Americans who can afford an iPhone have more privacy from government surveillance than tens of millions of Americans using Android devices.

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