Google makes billions collecting info on people and selling that data to advertisers. With Roe v Wade being overturned and abortions being criminalized in many states, that data could hurt women.
Search for an abortion clinic and Google Maps will likely show you a nearby Christian counseling service instead. Search for abortion pills and Google know what you searched for. Walk near a women's health clinic and Google knows when you were there. It's worse if you use Google's Chrome browser. Or if you use a phone that uses Google's Android operating system.
Google saves this information and sells it to advertisers. Some states like Texas offer vigilantes a bounty of $10,000 for reporting on anyone helping a woman get an abortion. These abortion bounty hunters have a big financial incentive to use the data that Google has to offer. Google may also have to be provided to authorities in States that have criminalized abortions.
Google has donated the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) and Republican Governors' Association (RGA) which pushes for abortion bans and voter suppression. Should a business lobby fund groups that increases its own profits at the expense of vulnerable women? Follow the money.
Follow the money to see how Google exploits women searching for abortion info
How Google Maps misleads women
Try it for yourself. Search for 'abortion' clinics in Google Maps. We chose Houston as a location in this example. See how many real abortion clinics are shown as compared to other facilities that do not offer abortion services.
"Google processes information to provide advertising, including online identifiers, browsing and search activity, and information about your location and interactions with advertisements."
We (Google) allow specific partners to collect information from your browser or device for advertising and measurement purposes using their own cookies or similar technologies." - Google
We (Google) collect information on things like which ads you’ll find most useful, the people who matter most to you online, or which YouTube videos you might like. We store the information we collect with unique identifiers tied to the browser, application, or device you’re using… we also collect information that we store with your Google Account… We collect information about your activity in our services such as:
- Terms you search for
- Videos you watch
- Views and interactions with content and ads
- Voice and audio information
- Purchase activity
- People with whom you communicate or share content
- Activity on third-party sites and apps that use our services
- Chrome browsing history you’ve synced with your Google Account
- Commercial information such as your payment information and a history of purchases you make on Google’s services
How Google collects so much information about you
Google knows where you are
Google collects information about your location when you use our services, which helps offer search results for things near you, and ads based on your general location. Your location can be determined with varying degrees of accuracy by:
- GPS and other sensor data from your device
- IP address
- Activity on Google services, such as your searches and places you label like home or work
- Information about things near your device, such as Wi-Fi access points, cell towers, and Bluetooth-enabled devices
Protect your privacy from Google
"Always use incognito or private browsing mode on your browser to avoid leaving a trail on your own devices. When choosing a browser, go with Safari, Firefox or Brave, which all have robust privacy features. Make sure any options to prevent cross-site tracking are turned on, and instead of Google, use a search engine such as DuckDuckGo or Brave." - WaPo
Google donations to anti-abortion groups
"From the moment Roe was decided anti-abortion forces have been pushing for this outcome. But the effort has gained significant momentum since 2016. It required accumulating and exercising power at the federal and state levels. Accumulating this much power is not easy and it is very expensive. But anti-abortion forces had a critical ally: corporate America.
A Popular Information analysis of corporate political giving found 13 major companies have given $15.2 million to the NRSC, RSLC, and RGA since 2016. This figure significantly understates the role that corporate America has played in ending constitutional protections for abortion rights. First, it only includes 13 corporations and, even for that group, does not include PAC contributions donated directly to anti-abortion politicians. It does not include money donated to the NRSC, RSLC, and RGA by corporate trade organizations. It also excludes corporate support for anti-abortion non-profits like the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society because those contributions do not have to be disclosed.
But the figure makes clear the central role of corporate money in the imminent reversal of Roe — including money from many corporations that claim to be champions for women's rights and equality.
Since 2016, Google has donated $525,702 to anti-abortion political committees, including $195,000 to the RSLC, $225,702 to the RGA, and $105,000 to the NRSC." - Popular Information
Ann Mather - Google Board member and Bumble Chair of the Board of Directors
How does a firm that exploits women's privacy for profits reconcile with a firm that stands for women's empowerment?
"Bumble is a more than an app, it’s a movement. We encourage integrity, kindness, equality, confidence, and respect during all stages of any relationship — whether online or offline. When members of the opposite sex match on Bumble, women are required to make the first move, shifting old-fashioned power dynamics and encouraging equality from the start." - Bumble
"Ann Mather has served as the Chair of Bumble Board of Directors since March 2020. Ms. Mather has more than 20 years of experience serving as a finance executive in a number of technology companies, particularly public companies, overseeing and assessing company performance. Ms. Mather also serves as a member of the boards of directors of Alphabet Inc. which is the parent firm of Google." - Bumble
TakeAway: Protect your privacy. Demand Google stop exploiting women's privacy to boost its profits.
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