Digital privacy advocates warn that online activities could be used against abortion-seekers or advocates in states where it is now illegal.
The digital privacy advocates’ warning came after the Supreme Court on Friday overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that guaranteed access to abortion throughout the United States.
“The concern about digital privacy security and data safety within the abortion access movement people seeking an abortion is all very real,” said Daly Barnett, a staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit data rights group based in San Francisco.
Barnett warned that data generated by people using the internet, searching for specific terms or interacting with abortion providers could be used as criminal evidence in the future.
Some of the data that could be used include location data and other data generated from their mobile phones, as well as their search and browsing history, the metadata attached to photos, and physical details in photos.
Law enforcement agencies could search people’s phones and computers for evidence in cases where people are criminalized for their pregnancy outcomes.