Abortion: A Data Collection Company Targeted by the US Government

Abortion: a data collection company targeted by the US government

The Kochava company would sell geolocation data which could in particular endanger pregnant women, but also people with a drug addiction, victims of domestic violence, etc.

L& #x27;The United States consumer protection agency, the FTC, sued a data collection company on Monday, accused in particular of facilitating the identification of women who visit abortion clinics.< /p>

The FTC accuses Kochava of selling geolocation data that tracks a person's movements, among other things to and from sensitive locations, the regulator explained in a press release.

The FTC thus mentions clinics practicing voluntary termination of pregnancy (IVG), but also places of worship, shelters for the homeless or victims of domestic violence, as well as treatment centers for addictions.

The data sold by Kochava, which relates to hundreds of thousands of cell phones, according to the agency, does not include the identities of the owners of these smartphones.< /p>

But it is possible to find them by cross-referencing, in particular with the addresses where the mobile phones are at night and the names of the owners of these accommodations.

Owners of the phones are often unaware that their location data has been purchased and shared by Kochava and have no control over its sale or use.

By selling this data, Kochava allows others to identify individuals and expose them to threats, harassment, discrimination, job loss, and even physical violence, argues the FTC.

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At the end of June, the Supreme Court reversed a ruling guaranteeing the protection of the right to abortion by the US Constitution.

This decision made the protection of the right to abortion all data related to abortion a major issue.

In early July, Google announced that location data of users visiting an abortion clinic would be automatically erased.

Since the Supreme Court's decision, at least 13 U.S. states have made abortion illegal in most cases.

The FTC's subpoena was filed in federal court in Idaho, where Kochava is headquartered and which is among the states that have banned abortion.

The regulator is seeking an injunction prohibiting the company from selling the data and forcing it to erase all sensitive information.

Asked by AFP, Kochava did not respond immediately.

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