Don’t Allow Personal Data to Be Used to Enforce Anti-Abortion Laws

Target: Sen. Maria Cantwell, Chair of the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Goal: Protect those who seek abortions from having their personal data used to enforce anti-abortion laws.

Following the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn the constitutional right to abortion, scores of people have suddenly found themselves in states that already have or will soon ban abortions.Many states haven’t stopped at just blocking access to the medical procedure within their borders, though. They are working to stop people from seeking abortions in other states as well. Several states have not only criminalized the procedure, but also anyone who gets it – or anyone who helps someone seeking an abortion. As the full impact of this devastating loss of bodily autonomy for women and those who can become pregnant becomes clearer, many are raising concerns over the use of personal data to enforce new draconian anti-abortion laws.

CNN reports that data collected from period tracking apps, geolocation tracking, internet search histories, call or text logs, and many other sources can be used as evidence against those seeking an abortion, but also anyone who helped them. Cynthia Conti-Cook, a civil rights attorney, told CNN, “Any part of a person’s digital footprint is fair game once a device is in law enforcement’s possession.” Groups with these privacy concerns are right to be alarmed, as data is already being used in this manner.

In 2018, Latice Fisher’s internet search history was used to indict her for second degree murder in Mississippi after she experienced an at-home pregnancy loss. The charges against Fisher were dropped, but the precedent for digital data to be used remains – and “data brokers are already selling, licensing, and sharing the location information of people that visit abortion providers to anyone with a credit card,” CNN reports. These practices are very invasive and there are not many regulations which protect our digital privacy.

Congress must act swiftly to ensure standard consumer protections for our data and ensure that digital privacy is not violated in order to enforce anti-abortion laws. Sign this petition to call on Sen. Maria Cantwell, Chair of the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation to do everything in her power to protect our digital privacy.

PEITION LETTER:

Dear Sen. Cantwell,

As women and those who can become pregnant throughout the US deal with the loss of their bodily autonomy following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, concerns over digital privacy have been on the rise. Digital rights groups are increasingly concerned personal data may be used to enforce anti-abortion laws. CNN reports that data collected from period tracking apps, geolocation tracking, internet search histories, call or text logs, and many other sources can be used as evidence against not only those seeking an abortion, but also anyone who helps them.

This is a gross violation of our digital privacy and must not be allowed. Congress must act to create solid and standardized consumer data protections – and this starts with the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. You must do everything in your power protect our personal data and stop it from being used to enforce draconian abortion laws.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Lorie Shaull


3 Comments

  1. Evan Jane Kriss says:

    This is a GROSS INVASION OF PRIVACY and MUST STOP NOW.

  2. Lisa Finnigan says:

    Instead of using a “period app” why can’t women use a paper calendar? They could also read books at the library for information. Neither of these methods can be tracked.

  3. All these horrendous CONTROLLING WOMEN decisions are mostly made by men.
    How would they like it if we told them what they can & can’t do with their health and body??? Also the religious need to butt out of the lives of all that are NOT religious!! We don’t tell them what to do!

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