Five senators ask Apple to stop collecting app data of abortion seekers

Five senators ask Apple to stop collecting app data of abortion seekers

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Five senators are urging Apple and Google to prohibit apps from gathering data that could target those seeking abortions. According to CNET, the group of senators are worried the data could end up in the hands of authorities.

The group sent a letter on Friday to Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Apple CEO Tim Cook. In it, the senators show concern that anti-abortion prosecutors will try to gather personal information “in ways that threaten the wellbeing of those exercising their right to choose.” The information they could collect includes location, online activity, and health and biometrics.

This letter comes after a draft leaked from the Supreme Court indicating it could overturn the right to an abortion via Roe v. Wade. A separate letter was sent to Tuesday where the senators ask Google to stop collecting app location data that could target abortion seekers.

The senators also note that many apps in Apple and Google’s app stores regularly collect this data and sell to brokers. What’s more is there’s nothing stopping data brokers from selling the data to prosecutors or “even vigilantes”.

Specifically, the senators note that data about an app user’s fertility, a browsing history showing an interest in contraception or location information showing that a user visited a gynecologist could all be used by those “who are intent on targeting, intimidating and harming individuals who seek abortions or individuals who simply take steps to promote their reproductive health.”

Both letters ask the tech giants to commit to updating their policies on data use and distribution. All of these efforts aim to protect the safety and wellbeing of women looking for an abortion. Neither Apple nor Google have commented on the letters.

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