Google’s New Health Privacy Feature Will Auto-Delete Logs When Users Visit Abortion Clinics


google health privacy feature

In recent months, there was a huge stir around the very sensitive topic. We have already reported that Meta Pixel is collecting data from websites of pregnancy crisis centers. As you guess, the data is used for advertising abortion clinics that basically operate outlawed. To avoid such activity and provide extra protection to those who are seeking pregnancy-related guidance, Google announced a new health privacy feature. The latter includes an ability to auto-delete abortion clinic visits from a location history. Users can do that immediately after registering for the visit.

abortion

We understand that Google is doing this because of the pressure from the Supreme Court’s recent ruling. The company doesn’t even mention the Roe v. Wade case by name. But that’s not difficult to guess that Google has had to develop this feature to avoid further lawsuits and complaints.

Users Can Delete Logs From Location History

Interestingly, the abortion clinics are not the only places that can be deleted from the location history:

Some of the places people visit — including medical facilities like counseling centers, domestic violence shelters, abortion clinics, fertility centers, addiction treatment facilities, weight loss clinics, cosmetic surgery clinics, and others — can be particularly personal. Today, we’re announcing that if our systems identify that someone has visited one of these places, we will delete these entries from Location History soon after they visit. This change will take effect in the coming weeks.

So we assume the feature will be available to use in the near future.

By the way, you should be aware that Location History is disabled in its products by default. If you want to make adjustments to your Location History, follow the link. At the moment, there is no option to choose what to delete and what to leave in entries.

Though at the moment, the mentioned feature is not live, users still can take action in other places. As Google explained, there are strict protocols for user data on apps. That includes “policies that prohibit developers from selling personal and sensitive user data and a requirement that they handle that data securely and only for purposes directly related to operating the app.”

Google’s New Health Privacy Feature Explained On Fitbit

According to the new data safety section added to Google Play, app devs must inform their customers how their apps collect, share, and secure their data. This is identical to what iPhone apps have been doing.

Google explained how it works on the Fitbit example. Fitbit users will be able to remove menstruation logs from Google’s health apps:

For Google Fit and Fitbit, we give users settings and tools to easily access and control their personal data, including the option to change and delete personal information, at any time. 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.

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