Big Tech corporations give the impression they are unwilling to respond to concerns regarding whether or not they will transfer data linked to abortion to law enforcement.
The vast majority of the leading technology companies in the country did not respond to questions regarding whether or not they would participate in inquiries into employees who seek abortions.
The overturning of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court paved the way for numerous states to restrict abortions. It consequently created possible data concerns for women seeking abortions in specific areas, leading to these questions.
As per Motherboard, many tech firms made statements to the effect that they will help their employees pay for abortions.
However, the majority of these businesses were unwilling to confirm whether or not they would comply with demands for such data from law enforcement.
Just one of so many ways surveillance capitalism and Big Tech infect our daily lives.
(Some good resources here on the tech implications of overturning Roe v Wade: https://t.co/V1BFZJpZLR) https://t.co/4HqatMmYSE
— MPower Change (@MPower_Change) June 27, 2022
A handful of tech firms, including Meta, Snapchat, Twitter, TikTok, Amazon, and Google were contacted by journalists from the publication Motherboard.
Additionally, it reached out to organizations involved in the financial technology industry, such as Binance and Coinbase, as well as companies engaged in the gig economy, such as Uber and Lyft.
There has been no response from any of them, as of Monday.
Concerns have been raised among Democratic lawmakers regarding the possibility that collection of location data by Apple and Google could be used to track women who have been to an abortion clinic.
"If #abortion legislation continues to mimic restrictions on sex work, Big Tech will use the artificial intelligence currently shadowbanning & suspending sex workers’ accounts to target users it suspects are seeking abortions" #sexwork #RoeVsWade https://t.co/zfO44DzTzc
— 🇺🇦🍷 sonja dolinsek 🧩 – 🇺🇦 (@sonjdol) June 27, 2022
In a memo to Lina Khan, chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, four legislators argued “with the Supreme Court likely to nullify Roe v. Wade, people seeking abortion services and other reproductive care will become especially vulnerable to privacy health care risks.”
That includes the collection and dissemination of their location data. These legislators made their arguments in a letter that was addressed to Khan.
Data and Statements
The practice of compiling data on abortion clinics has been widely accepted throughout the course of human history.
At least two different data-gathering companies have provided other clients, such as the New York Times and Motherboard, with information pertaining to abortion clinics.
At least one woman has been charged based on online searches connected to abortion that were conducted on her computer.
After the Roe v. Wade decision was overturned, several businesses said they would cover the costs of travel for women seeking abortions.
For instance, Netflix recently announced that it would provide a lifetime stipend of $10,000 per employee to be used for abortion-related travel.
Other businesses, such as Meta, have not yet decided their position on the issue and are doing so while taking into account the “legal implications involved.”
In the end, women across the country are scared their information will be used against them if they decide to get an abortion.