(ANSA-AFP) – MILAN, MAY 25 – A group of US Democratic lawmakers has asked Google to stop collecting data on the location of smartphones that could be used to identify women who have aborted.
The move comes after fears that the US Supreme Court is considering overturning a landmark 1973 ruling that grants access to abortion nationwide.
“We are concerned that, in a world where abortion could be made illegal, Google’s current practice of collecting and storing large repositories of cell phone location data will allow it to become a tool for far-right extremists seeking to crack down on people seeking health care, “reads the letter signed by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders along with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and 40 other lawmakers, and addressed to Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
Signatories recall that Google received 11,554 applications for access to geo-referenced data in 2020, a “practice” that, following the growing debate on abortion in the United States, could further increase, eventually granting users’ approximate locations in a given moment.
The letter also distinguishes the work of the two main American giants, Google and Apple. “Apple has shown that smartphone companies don’t need to maintain invasive tracking databases of their customers’ locations. Google’s intentional choice is creating a new digital divide, in which privacy and security have become a luxury. “. Last week, 16 US Democrats sent a letter to Federal Trade Commission chairman Lina Khan urging the agency to protect the privacy of those seeking abortion health care.