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Tech giants Apple and Google face scrutiny of abortion data collection

A group of US senators has urged tech giants Apple and Google to ban apps in their app stores from collecting data that can be used to identify women seeking abortions, media reports said.

The letter, signed by five Democratic and independent senators, comes on the heels of a leaked draft of an impending majority opinion suggesting the Supreme Court plans to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision establishing a constitutional right to abortion, Cnet reports.

It also follows the publication on Tuesday of a separate letter signed by 42 Democratic and independent senators and members of Congress calling on Google to stop collecting and retaining location data from its users, as it could be used to identify people seeking abortions.

The senators expressed concern that anti-abortion prosecutors and others would attempt to access and make use of personal information – including data on location, online activity, health and biometrics – “in ways that threaten the well-being of those exercising their right to choose”.

The senators said that many apps in both the respective Apple and Google stores routinely collect this type of data, then sell it to intermediaries.

There is nothing to prevent these brokers from sharing or selling that data to prosecutors or “even vigilantes,” the report said, citing the letter, to Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Apple CEO Tim Cook.

– Jans

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(The title and image for this report may have been reformulated only by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a shared feed.)

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