Google to clear location data for abortion clinic visits – TechCrunch

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

As concerns mount over the endless source of data that tech companies have built an entire industry around, Google is taking at least one step to mitigate potential damage associated with location tracking.

The company announced in a blog post Friday that it would remove location history data from some “particularly personal” places from a Google Account shortly after someone visited it. Locations from which the data will be deleted include “medical facilities such as counseling centers, domestic violence shelters, abortion clinics, fertility centers, addiction treatment facilities, weight loss clinics, cosmetic surgery clinics, and others,” the blog said.

Google also noted that Fitbit users who use the device’s accompanying software as a period tracker will have to delete these entries one at a time, but an easier way to “delete multiple logs at once” is coming.

The location history change will take effect in the coming weeks, emptying a potential bucket of data that law enforcement agencies could demand from the company. Google notes that the location history feature is turned off by default for people using the services, but if you’re unsure it’s always worth checking what personal information you’re actively sharing with technical data brokers, especially now.