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Tech companies in spotlight as US abortion ruling sparks privacy threat

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In the wake of the US supreme court’s decision to end women’s constitutional right to abortion, some tech companies are moving to close loopholes that allow personal data brokers to monitor and sell information amid fears that mobile apps could be used by US states to police abortion restrictions.Google’s parent company, Alphabet, said on Friday it would automatically delete records of user visits to sensitive locations, including abortion clinics.

Privacy researchers as well as women’s rights groups welcomed the move, having warned that apps used for period tracking, pregnancy and family planning could be used to prosecute those seeking reproductive care.The “location history” feature on Google’s Android services is typically turned off, the company said.

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