A group of 16 Democratic senators urged the Federal Trade Commission to a letter Wednesday to protect data privacy for people seeking abortions or other reproductive health treatments.
The letter highlights the potential far-reaching impacts of the Supreme Court’s early decision to revoke Roe v. Veal. The policy reported earlier this month on a draft decision that would overturn the 10-year sentence protecting the right to abortion, and Supreme Court President John Roberts later confirmed its authenticity, although a final sentence has yet to be made public.
The draft decision raised concerns about how canceling the eggs could impact privacy protection, as the original decision was largely based on the right to privacy between a pregnant person and her doctor. The exacerbating concerns are the fact that the United States does not currently have a federal privacy law, although some states such as California do have their own protections.
In the letter to FTC President Lina Khan, senators led by Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., And Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., Expressed “serious concerns” over recent reports of data brokers buying and selling data. on the position relating to abortion services, indicating a recent Deputy article. They said that such data could come from ordinary places like weather apps, where consumers might not expect their data to be sold.
“In light of reports that the Supreme Court should overrule Roe vs. Wade, we are concerned about the privacy of women making decisions that should be among themselves, their families and their doctors, as they have done for more than five decades,” The legislators he wrote. “If the final decision of the Court matches the leaked opinion, thirteen states could immediately ban abortion and more than a dozen others risk criminalizing it. Ban and criminalization of abortion in some parts of our country could create additional risks for those. seeking family planning services in states where abortions remain legal. “
Already in states like Texas and Oklahoma, access to abortions has been extremely limited as well new laws also allow individuals to sue abortion providers or those who help them access these services (potentially including rideshare drivers).
The senators asked the FTC to outline the steps it is taking to make sure consumers are able to review and remove personal information online, the ways they would target cell phone apps that collect and sell location data, and how coordinates with the Department of Justice, state and health care providers to prevent the data broker’s access to such information. They also asked the FTC, which many lawmakers believe has historically been underfunded, if it needs additional resources to prevent such personal information from being bought and sold by data brokers.
An FTC spokesperson confirmed that the agency received the letter but did not provide further comment.