Personal data: Google will remove your geolocation in health establishments

News hardware Personal data: Google will remove your geolocation in health establishments

The giant Google knows everything about you, including the places you visit – at least, if you have activated the history of your locations on your various connected devices. However, some of the places you go to are your business, especially health establishments, such as clinics or hospitals. From now on, when you go to such “sensitive” locations, Google will automatically delete your location from its archives.

Automatic deletion of “sensitive” data

It is in a blog post published on July 1 Google announces changes to the way it collects the geolocation data of its users. After recalling that location history is disabled by default on all Google accounts, the company explains that by ” the next weeks », an auto-delete function will be deployed for those who use the monitoring of the places visited.

The latter will target different locations. which can be particularly private “. According to the blog post, “ as soon as (Google’s systems) recognize that you have visited one of these places, we will delete these entries from your Location History shortly after your visit. »

Among the places concerned, Google cites psychological support centers, centers for the prevention of domestic violence, weight loss clinics, clinics specializing in fertility, cosmetic surgery centers, addiction care centers… But also abortion clinics.

Protection for American women wishing to have an abortion

Google’s announcement is indeed not insignificant. It takes place in a context where the United States revoked the right to abortion, allowing various States to ban the use of abortion and prosecute women who decide to end their pregnancy. In this context, many voices in politics and associations have recently expressed concern about the way in which the online activity of American women could be used to track clandestine abortions.

After turning a deaf ear for several weeks, the web giant is rolling out this measure as if to signify that it has heard these concerns. The blog post only half-acknowledges this, without explicitly naming American women: we know that users rely on Google to ensure the security of their personal data “.

But another measure clearly indicates that Google is aware of being expected at the turn on this subject: owners of Fitbit products will now be able to delete more easily, and more massively, the personal data collected by their devices. Among these, women will be able to erase their menstrual cycle logs. Data which is currently singled out, since in the hands of the police, they could constitute an index revealing a pregnancy.

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