Google has stated that it plans to automatically delete location logs when it believes the user has visited an abortion clinic or domestic violence shelter. The recent announcement is in response to the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, which determined that legal abortion was a right in the United States. Following the controversial decision, the public feared that data collected via search histories, tracking apps, GPS location data, and other technologies could be used in prosecutions against women seeking medical attention or assistance. Google said that the update will roll out over the next few weeks to prevent these fears from coming to fruition.
A Google executive also stated that privacy protections must be ensured by companies across several industries, such as tech, banking, telecommunications, and more. Although location history is turned off on Google accounts by default, many users find it useful and therefore turn it back on to utilize personalized recommendation features. Google plans to delete logs in which the user visits a sensitive area to protect their privacy. In addition to location, many have worried that period tracking app data could be used against women. As of right now, the logs of trackers in Google Fit and Fitbit can be deleted.