US Politicians Ask Google to Stop Location Tracking Over Abortion Prosecution

A group of American politicians has written an open letter to Google asking whether the company wants to stop collecting location data from users. They believe that people who want to have an abortion run the risk of being prosecuted because of the stored location data.

The letter is addressed to Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, and signed by forty-two politicians of the American Democratic political party. It states that far-right actors in the United States can use the location data of users to demonstrate that those users have searched the world for abortion options. They could be prosecuted because of this, according to the politicians. They refer to US government and judicial authorities that they claim request location data from Google on a regular basis. For example, by 2020, Google would have received more than 11,000 warrants to share users’ location data with US authorities.

The authors believe that Google has location data of Android users even when the device is not actively used, whether apps are running or not. In addition, according to the authors, Google receives all location data, even when only a certain third-party app asks for their location. “On iPhones, Google can only collect location data when the Google Maps app is running,” it sounds. “There is also no law that obliges Google to collect location data from its users.”

The letter comes after the beginning of May It became known that a majority of the US Supreme Court wants to overturn the landmark 1973 ‘Roe versus Wade’ judgment. That judgment sets a precedent and guaranteed the federal constitutional right to abortion in the United States. If this ruling is overturned, each US state will be able to decide for itself whether to ban or limit abortion.