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Monday July 04, 2022

Google urged to stop location tracking of abortion seekers

By AFP
May 26, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO: A group of US Democratic lawmakers urged Google on Tuesday to stop collecting smartphone location data that could be used to identify women who have had abortions.

The move came amid fears that the US Supreme Court was considering overturning Roe v. Wade, a landmark 1973 ruling that guaranteed nationwide access to abortion. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders along with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were among more than 40 lawmakers who signed a letter to Google chief executive Sundar Pichai.

"We are concerned that, in a world in which abortion could be made illegal, Google’s current practice of collecting and retaining extensive records of cell phone location data will allow it to become a tool for far-right extremists looking to crack down on people seeking reproductive health care," said the letter, which was published online. "That’s because Google stores historical location information about hundreds of millions of smartphone users, which it routinely shares with government agencies."

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