Thursday, August 18, 2022

Facebook data, abortion prosecution, and search warrents

 The Guardian has the story:

Facebook gave police their private data. Now, this duo face abortion charges  Experts say it underscores the importance of encryption and minimizing the amount of user data tech companies can store. Johana Bhuiyan

"In the wake of the supreme court’s upheaval of Roe v Wade, tech workers and privacy advocates expressed concerns about how the user data tech companies stored could be used against people seeking abortions.  


"when local Nebraska police came knocking in June – before Roe v Wade was officially overturned – Facebook handed the user data of a mother and daughter facing criminal charges for allegedly carrying out an illegal abortion. Private messages between the two discussing how to obtain abortion pills were given to police by Facebook, according to the Lincoln Journal Star. The 17-year-old, reports say, was more than 20 weeks pregnant. In Nebraska, abortions are banned after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The teenager is now being tried as an adult."


And the Washington Post focuses on search warrents:

Search warrants for abortion data leave tech companies few options. Facebook’s role in a Nebraska case underscores the risks of communicating on unencrypted apps. By Naomi Nix and Elizabeth Dwoskin 

"Prosecutors and local law enforcement have strict rules they must follow to obtain individuals’ private communications or location data to bolster a legal cases. Once a judge grants a request for users’ data, tech companies can do little to avoid complying with the demands.


“If the order is valid and targets an individual, the tech companies will have relatively few options when it comes to challenging it,” said Corynne McSherry, legal director at the privacy advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation. “That’s why it’s very important for companies to be careful about what they are collecting because if you don’t build it, they won’t come.”


And then there's this to watch out for, also from the Guardian:

How private is your period-tracking app? Not very, study reveals. Research on more than 20 apps found that the majority collected large amounts of personal data and shared it with third parties.  by Kari Paul


The Washington Post offers some advice on keeping your data private (it's not so easy...)

Seeking an abortion? Here’s how to avoid leaving a digital trail. Everything you should do to keep your information safe, from incognito browsing to turning off location tracking.  By Heather Kelly, Tatum Hunter and Danielle Abril 

No comments: