U.S. Companies Don’t Much Want To Talk About Abortion Data Collection And Protection

In response to the Supreme Court’s recent assault on female bodily autonomy, numerous U.S. corporations have issued statements stating they’ll be paying for employee abortion travel. You’re to ignore, apparently, that many of these same companies continue to throw millions of dollars at the politicians responsible for turning the Supreme Court into a dangerous, cruel, legal norm-trampling joke:

With abortion now or soon to be illegal in countless states, there’s newfound concern about the privacy issues we’ve talked about for years, like how user location data, period tracking data, or browsing data can all be used against women seeking abortions and those looking to aid them… by both the state and violent vigilantes (thanks to flimsy U.S. standards on who can buy said data and how it can be used).

Reporters that have tried to ask modern data-hoovering companies if they’ll do better job securing data to ensure it can’t be used against women, or if they’ll fight efforts from states hunting abortion seekers and aiders in and out of state, have been met with dead silence. Not even rote statements on how the safety of women is important, but dead silence:

Motherboard asked a long line of companies including Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, TikTok, AT&T, Uber, and Snapchat if they’d hand over user data to law enforcement and not a single one was willing to commit to protecting women’s data:

Motherboard asked if each will provide data in response to requests from law enforcement if the case concerns users seeking or providing abortions, or some other context in which the agency is investigating abortions. Motherboard also asked generally what each company is planning to protect user data in a post-Roe America.

None of the companies answered the questions. Representatives from Twitter and Snapchat replied to say they were looking into the request, but they did not provide a statement or other response.

To be fair, company legal departments haven’t finished doing the risk calculations of showing a backbone and upsetting campaign contributors and law enforcement. They’ve also got to weigh the incalculable looming harms awaiting countless women against any potential lost snoopvertising revenues, so there’s that.

As public pressure grows, ham-fisted state enforcement begins, and the dynamics of the Roe repeal become harder for them to ignore, several of these companies may find something vaguely resembling a backbone in time. But the initial lack of any clarity or courage whatsoever in the face of creeping authoritarianism (and a high court gone completely off the rails) doesn’t inspire a whole lot of confidence.

Source: techdirt.com

U.S. Companies Don’t Much Want To Talk About Abortion Data Collection And Protection