Google to Delete User Data on Trips to Abortion Clinics

(Bloomberg) -- Alphabet Inc.’s Google said it will automatically delete records of user visits to sensitive locations, including abortion clinics, responding to growing concerns that the data could be used to prosecute those seeking reproductive care and other personal services.

The internet search and advertising leader said the Location History feature on its services is turned off by default, but even if active, the company’s policy starting in the coming weeks will be to rapidly delete records of visits to places that many people would prefer to keep private.

“Some of the places people visit -- including medical facilities like counseling centers, domestic violence shelters, abortion clinics, fertility centers, addiction treatment facilities, weight loss clinics, cosmetic surgery clinics, and others -- can be particularly personal,” Google said in a post Friday on its website. “If our systems identify that someone has visited one of these places, we will delete these entries from Location History soon after they visit.”