Gabby Diaz

Gabby Diaz

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Here's How Personal Data Can Be Used To Enforce Anti-Abortion Laws

Today the Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade, which is a 50-year-old ruling that guaranteed that it's a person's Constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy before viability (about 24 weeks). The decision has sparked outrage across the country and along with the overturn comes a wide-range of potential implications that along with concerns about how personal data can be used to find out information about who is looking into getting an abortion.

According to ABC 7, in certain restrictive states, experts warn that people's search histories, location data, messages and other digital information can be used by law enforcement to look into prosecuting abortion-related cases. States where they are making it a crime to help someone seeking an abortion could subpoena data from women's period-tracking or pregnancy apps to use as evidence. Those states could also use online behaviors such as internet searches, location history, call and text logs, emails and financial records to use as part of their investigation.

The Digital Defense Fund has created a guide for women to help them learn how to keep digital footprints protected when they look for information on abortions. The guide will have tips, which will have ways to opt out of personal ads on Google and social media sites to minimize trafficking, turning off location sharing and using privacy-focused browsers (DuckDuckGo, Firefox Focus). The guide also recommends to use an end-to-end encrypted messaging app (Signal, WhatsApp) to keep their calls and messages private. People can also use anonymous browsing services (Tor, Virtual Private Networks aka VPNs) and incognito search windows if they are seeking information about abortions. Head to ABC 7 for more.


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