Taking Actions to Enhance Sensitive Health Data Privacy

Google’s recent move to soon being deleting location history pertaining to individuals’ visits to facilities offering sensitive healthcare services is a step in the right direction, but experts warn a yawning digital privacy gap still remains. The internet giant committed earlier this month to modifying its systems to automatically identify and delete location history data for visits individuals make to places that are “particularly personal.” That includes medical facilities such as abortion clinics, fertility centers, counseling centers, domestic violence shelters, addiction treatment facilities, weight loss clinics, cosmetic surgery clinics “and others,” Google says. Google’s changes come as scrutiny of technology firms, data brokers and others that handle location and sensitive health data intensifies in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling overturning Roe v. Wade and as some states begin to ban and criminalize abortion. 

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