Home Technology Democratic senators involved about telephone location knowledge getting used to trace folks in search of abortions

Democratic senators involved about telephone location knowledge getting used to trace folks in search of abortions

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Democratic senators involved about telephone location knowledge getting used to trace folks in search of abortions

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar speaks throughout a protest exterior the U.S. Supreme Court after the leak of a draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito getting ready for a majority of the courtroom to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion rights determination later this yr, in Washington, D.C., May 3, 2022.

Elizabeth Frantz | Reuters

A bunch of 16 Democratic senators urged the Federal Trade Commission in a letter on Wednesday to guard knowledge privateness for folks in search of abortions or different reproductive well being care.

The letter highlights the potential far-reaching impacts of the Supreme Court’s anticipated determination reversing Roe v. Wade. Politico reported earlier this month on a draft determination that may overturn the decades-old ruling defending the precise to abortion, and Chief Justice John Roberts later confirmed its authenticity, although a ultimate ruling has but to be made public.

The draft determination raised considerations about how undoing Roe might impression privateness protections, on condition that the unique determination was largely based mostly round the precise to privateness between a pregnant individual and their physician. Exacerbating considerations is the truth that the U.S. doesn’t at the moment have a federal privateness legislation, although some states resembling California have their very own protections.

In the letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan, senators led by Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., expressed “serious concerns” about latest reviews about knowledge brokers shopping for and promoting location knowledge associated to abortion companies, pointing to a latest Vice article. They mentioned such knowledge might come from abnormal locations resembling climate apps, the place customers might not count on their knowledge to be offered.

“In light of reports that the Supreme Court is set to overrule Roe vs. Wade, we are concerned about the privacy of women making decisions that should be between them, their families, and their doctors, as they have for more than five decades,” the lawmakers wrote. “Should the Court’s final decision match the leaked opinion, thirteen states could immediately ban abortion and over a dozen others are likely to criminalize it. Banning and criminalizing abortion in parts of our country could create added risks to those seeking family planning services in states where abortions remain legal.”

Already in states resembling Texas and Oklahoma, entry to abortions has been extraordinarily restricted, and new legal guidelines even enable non-public residents to sue abortion suppliers or those who assist them entry such companies (probably together with rideshare drivers).

The senators requested the FTC to stipulate measures it is taking to ensure customers are capable of assessment and take away private info on-line, methods it will handle cell phone apps that acquire and promote location knowledge and the way it’s coordinating with the Department of Justice, states and well being care suppliers to stop knowledge dealer entry to such info. They additionally requested the FTC, which many lawmakers imagine has been traditionally underfunded, if it wants further sources to maintain such private info from being purchased and offered by knowledge brokers.

An FTC spokesperson confirmed the company obtained the letter however didn’t present additional remark.

WATCH: Protesters amass exterior the Supreme Court after leaked doc suggests justices to overturn Roe v. Wade

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