March 5, 2024

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to strip federal abortion rights in the US, many people are wondering how the apps they use every day could suddenly be turned against them.

As concerns grow about the endless well of data that tech companies have built an entire industry around, Google is taking at least one step to mitigate some of the potential damage related to location tracking.

The company announced Friday in a Blog post It will remove location history data about some “privately personal” places from your Google account shortly after someone visits. Sites whose data will be deleted include “medical facilities such as counseling centers, domestic violence shelters, abortion clinics, fertility centers, addiction treatment facilities, weight loss clinics, plastic surgery clinics, and more,” according to the blog.

Google also noted that Fitbit users who are using the device’s companion software as a period tracker at the moment should delete these entries one by one, but an easier way to “delete multiple records at once” is on the way.

The change to the location’s history will take effect in the next few weeks, emptying a potential batch of data that law enforcement might request from the company. Google notes that its location history feature is disabled by default for people using its services, but if you’re not sure it’s always worth it double check What personal information do you actively share with technical data brokers – especially now.

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