Abortion in the US: Democrats expand scrutiny of tech data collection

Deepak Gupta July 24, 2022
Updated 2022/07/24 at 10:08 AM

Ever since the Supreme Court of the United States of America (USA) banned abortion in the country, technology has been in the spotlight. How they collect and use data is now an even more important issue.

For that reason, Democrats are tightening the siege on them even more, in order to ensure that users’ privacy is guaranteed.

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According to the Associated Press, Democratic representatives are widening their scrutiny of the role of technology companies in collecting personal data from people who may be seeking an abortion. Meanwhile, lawmakers, regulators and the Biden administration grapple with the aftermath of last month's Supreme Court ruling.

These Democrats' concerns arise in the sense that there are privacy experts arguing that banning abortion in some states could make women vulnerable. This is because personal data may be used to monitor pregnancies, and may be shared with the police.

abortion in the USA

According to these experts, data such as search history, location data, text messages and emails, and data collected by applications that track the menstrual cycle will be at stake.

The data collected and sold by your company could be used by law enforcement and prosecutors in states with aggressive restrictions on abortion.

In addition, in states that empower watchdogs and private actors to sue abortion service providers, this information can be used as part of a legal process.

said the deputy Lori Trahanof Massachusetts, in one of the new letters to Congress.

When consumers use apps on their phone and quickly hit 'yes' on 'use geolocation data' pop-ups, they shouldn't worry about endlessly selling their data to advertisers, individuals or law enforcement. And they should certainly not be used to hunt down, prosecute and arrest an individual seeking reproductive care. Companies can now take steps to protect individual rights.

Companies such as Amazon and Oracle were mentioned as the main data intermediaries, that is, the largest to collect and sell user data.

The letters sent to Congress were signed by several Democrats in addition to Lori Trahan of Massachusetts: David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Yvette Clarke of New York, Debbie Dingell of Michigan, Adam Schiff of California and Sean Casten of Illinois.

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