Elizabeth Warren and other Senators Call Out Firms for Selling Information on Abortion Seeking Individuals
Bernie Sanders, Ed Markey, and Cory Booker were among the other Senators who signed the letter...
Tech firms have received a letter from 14 Senate Democrats on Wednesday demanding that they give an explanation to reports circulating about the collection and sale of location data of those who have visited abortion clinics.
Unsurprisingly, Senator Elizabeth Warren led the lawmakers in writing the letters to two firms. The letter addressed to SafeGraph read: “Especially in the wake of the Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, your company’s sale of such data - to virtually anyone with a credit card - poses serious dangers for all women seeking access to abortion services.”
Bernie Sanders, Ed Markey, and Cory Booker were among the other Senators who signed the letter.
It was reported earlier this month by Motherboard that SafeGraph was selling information pertaining to individuals who have visited abortion clinics. The information included their movement after the visit and how long their time was at the clinics. The report also found that Placer.ai offered data showing the location of where the visitors lived.
Location data has previously been used by activist groups in favor of anti-abortion beliefs to harass those of the pro-abortion groups. This is where the concern comes from. More interestingly, information such as personal finances, political views, and emails being sent and received can also be accessed.
“It is difficult to overstate the dangers of SafeGraph’s unsavory business practices,” lawmakers said in the conversation about the access to the type of data offered by SafeGraph and Placer.ai.
“[A]s experts have repeatedly warned, it can be ‘trivially easy’ to link someone’s location data with their real-world identities, especially when datasets are limited to only ‘four or five’ devices in a location. SafeGraph’s sale of this data presents an ongoing threat to women who have sought abortions and who may seek them in the future.”
“Democrats need to use every tool possible to defend Americans’ right to an abortion and protect women’s health, With an extremist Supreme Court poised to overturn Roe, I’m calling out data-broker companies for their disturbing practices of selling and transferring the personal information of women visiting abortion clinics, including their cell phone location data.”
Warren said in a statement as she reiterated the importance of knowing what exactly is contained within the information being sold in an effort to protect those who are receiving or seeking abortions.