Bloomberg Law: Google’s Tracker to Abortion Clinics Spurs Complaint to FTC
January 18, 2024
Google hasn’t followed through on promises to delete sensitive user-location information, including visits to abortion clinics, according to a complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission Thursday and provided to Bloomberg Law.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center, a nonprofit privacy research and advocacy group, is asking the FTC to investigate the Alphabet Inc. unit for “unfair and deceptive trade practices” around how it handles the data. The complaint follows ongoing reporting that Google has continued to collect location data for users visiting abortion clinics and other sensitive locations, despite promises by the tech giant in July 2022 that it would delete those records.
The collection of location data can cause “substantial injury” to consumers because it can reveal sensitive personal practices, including visits to abortion clinic visits or houses of worship, according to the complaint. Such data can “lead to criminal prosecution and unduly discourage individuals from seeking vital health care services,” EPIC wrote.
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