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Google Will Delete Sensitive Location Data From User Tracking - BLOOMBERG

JULY 03, 2022

(Bloomberg) -- Alphabet Inc.’s Google said it will automatically delete records of user visits to sensitive locations, including abortion clinics, responding to growing concerns that the data could be used to prosecute those seeking reproductive care and other personal services.

The internet giant said its Location History feature is turned off by default, but even if active, the company’s new policy in the coming weeks will be to rapidly delete records of visits to places that many people would prefer to keep private.  

“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,” the company said in a post Friday on its website. “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.”

The search company also said it will roll out updates that enable users of its Fitbit wearable devices who track their periods in the app to delete multiple logs at once. 

In the post, Google also underscored its track record of fighting government requests for information that the company deems improper.

“We remain committed to protecting our users against improper government demands for data, and we will continue to oppose demands that are overly broad or otherwise legally objectionable,” the company said. 

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