Google to auto-delete sensitive data from its users' location data

Tech giant Google in its announcement said that it will now automatically delete visits to abortion clinics, domestic violence shelters, weight loss clinics, and other potentially sensitive locations from the data of its users’ locations. 

They said that if their systems identify that someone has visited one of these places we will delete these entries from Location History soon after they visit. This update will be effective in a few weeks. 

The announcement was made in light of the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Roe v. Wade case and several states banned abortions in the country. 

The users of the search engine will also have an option to turn off Google’s location altogether. Social media giants, Facebook and Instagram are also removing posts from users who offered abortion pills through the mail. 

After the news of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Roe v. Wade case, social media users started sharing posts in which they offered to mail the abortion pills to people who don’t have an option to get an abortion. Facebook and Instagram immediately took action by removing related content. 

The company said, "For example, Fitbit users who have chosen to track their menstrual cycles in the app can currently delete menstruation logs one at a time, and we will be rolling out updates that let users delete multiple logs at once," 

In a blog post, Google senior vice president Jen Fitzpatrick wrote that this would also apply to trips to fertility clinics, domestic violence shelters, addiction treatment facilities and other sensitive locations.

Those who are against the ban on abortion have also told people to delete apps that track their menstrual cycles online, while some said search and location data from companies like Google are more likely to be used as evidence. 

The Alphabet Workers Union, a group of more than 800 people who work for Google’s parent company, Alphabet, demanded that the company delete any personal data the law enforcement could use to take to their own advantage and try to prosecute those who are getting abortions.  

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