For Immediate Release
May 24, 2022
With abortion rights under siege, Accountable Tech Executive Director Nicole Gill released the following statement Tuesday, joining Members of Congress in calling on Google to stop unnecessarily collecting and retaining customer location data:
“If Roe v. Wade is overturned and states enact draconian anti-abortion laws, Big Tech could be further weaponized to target people seeking reproductive care. Google notably relies on the toxic surveillance advertising business model, collecting and monetizing massive stockpiles of intimate user data — data that can easily be bought and sold online — threatening the personal liberties of many Americans. And in contrast to Apple’s policies for iOS, Android owners cannot use third-party apps’ location services without allowing Google to access and retain that data as well.
The United States’ lack of federal privacy laws and the monopoly power of Big Tech gatekeepers compound the urgency of companies like Google promptly reforming its data collection and retention practices to ensure people can safely research and access critical reproductive care. If they don’t, there will inevitably be Android users whose location data is obtained by anti-abortion government officials and bounty hunters and used to prosecute them, and Google will be complicit.
No one should be tracked and targeted for exercising their personal health decisions. Google must put Americans’ fundamental rights ahead of their surveillance advertising profits and immediately commit to ending their dangerous location data hoarding.