Senate Democrats press tech firms on abortion-related location data

WASHINGTON — More than a dozen Senate Democrats are asking spot info firms to give information and facts about any selection or income of cellphone details tied to visits to abortion clinics.

The letters, led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and first claimed by NBC Information, requested responses from the tech businesses SafeGraph Inc. and Placer.ai by May perhaps 31.

“Especially in the wake of the Supreme Court’s leaked draft belief overturning Roe v. Wade, your company’s sale of these types of data—to practically any person with a credit card—poses serious hazards for all women of all ages trying to get accessibility to abortion expert services,” the senators wrote to SafeGraph, with similar wording in the letter to Placer.

Other Democrats who signed the letter include things like Sens. Patty Murray of Washington, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Ron Wyden of Oregon, alongside with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

The letter is the most current case in point of congressional Democrats’ preparations for the possible reversal of Roe v. Wade. Senate Democrats unsuccessful to move legislation very last week that would codify the 1973 landmark final decision over stiff Republican opposition.

A method room at Planned Parenthood in Meridian, Idaho, on Dec, 14, 2021.Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman/Tribune News Company by means of Getty Photos file

Lawmakers are hoping to handle privateness fears close to abortion as advocates warn that promoting site information could pose hazards to each individuals and providers presented the heightened tensions around the abortion discussion.

Monitoring knowledge has also authorized advertisers to goal women at clinics. In their letter, the senators cited technological know-how that assisted a Boston firm ship anti-abortion advertisements straight to women as they sat in clinic ready rooms in 2016.

With the prospect that much more states will even more limit abortion access, Democrats are zeroing in on the position huge tech is anticipated to enjoy in the battle for reproductive legal rights.

“Democrats need to have to use each software doable to protect Americans’ proper to an abortion and secure women’s health and fitness,” Warren told NBC News of the stress campaign on facts brokers. “These procedures are deeply concerning and danger the security of all people trying to get accessibility to abortion care.”

SafeGraph and Placer have stated they’ve taken actions to end accessibility to clinic info just after various media stories highlighted its availability. SafeGraph stated on its internet site that “in light of opportunity federal changes in family members planning obtain, we’re eliminating Styles knowledge for spots classified as … ‘Family Preparing Centers’ … to curtail any likely misuse of its info.”

Pacer.ai is described to have taken out users’ capacity to look for for visualized facts related to Prepared Parenthood that confirmed approximations for the residences of people who visited clinics.

The organization did not reply to a ask for for comment.

Marcy Willis

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