Protection from Google staff demands, abortion bans

Senior management at Google urged hundreds of employees to adopt policies to protect employee and user data amid abortion prosecution

More than 650 Google employees have signed a petition calling on senior management for company-wide policies and protections in the wake of the US Supreme Court ruling on Roe v Wade.

The petition was distributed by the Alphabet Workers Union (AWU), the Guardian reported:, and makes some ambitious demands on Google CEO Sundar Pichai; human resources chief Fiona Cicconi and the VP of advertising Jerry Dischler.

It should be noted that Alphabet has already taken certain measures in light of the Supreme Court ruling.

Last month, Google said it would automatically delete the location history of Android smartphone users when they visit locations such as abortion clinics.

The US Supreme Court. Image Credit: US Supreme Court

Roe v Wade

At the same time, Google also said it would close a loophole that would allow apps on a phone to collect information about other apps installed on the device, leading to sensitive data about individuals being put up for sale by data aggregators.

The company has also previously said that Google could relocate staff from US states that pursue abortion bans. The company said staff can apply for relocation without explaining why.

The repeal of the Roe v Wade decision of 1973 in June this year opened the way for restrictive abortion laws in many US states, and tech companies and campaigners fear the intimate personal data stored on smartphones could be used to help those prosecute those who violate the new measures. .

Abortion rights activists and privacy experts are also concerned that the digital communications, location data, information about menstrual tracking apps or other private data will be used against them to criminalize abortion.

Facebook was already involved in the matter earlier this month when it provided US police with private chats of a teenager in the case of a home abortion.

Meta said it had not informed about the abortion in the warrant, and it was drafted with a legal court order.

Google employee requirements

So what are Google employees asking for?

According to the Guardian, Google employees are making three demands on senior management.

First, they asked the company to extend access to reproductive health benefits already offered to full-time workers to temporary and contract workers.

Second, the employees asked Google to stop all political lobbies from politicians or organizations “because these politicians were responsible for appointing the Supreme Court justices who overthrew Roe v Wade and continue to violate other human rights issues.”

And finally, the staff demanded that Google stop storing health-related data that could later be used to criminalize users and tackle the misinformation and misinformation in search results.

A Google spokesperson told The Guardian the company had nothing to add, but pointed the paper to links indicating how it planned to support workers in the wake of the US Supreme Court’s decision on abortion rights.

Ambitious requirements

“It’s a health issue,” Alejandra Beatty, technical program manager at Google-owned Verily and an AGU steward, told The Guardian.

“That’s a concern for labor,” Beatty said. “It is a labor law. So that’s what we’re focusing the conversation on: this is care that is needed for all employees and we should all have it.”

The demands of the union are high, she admits.

For example, union workers discussed whether Google would only donate to certain politicians rather than halt all its lobbying efforts. But the stakes are too high to go in softly, Beatty reportedly said.

“We are trying to make it clear that the whole system is broken and democracy must be returned to the people, to the citizens,” she said. “Businesses shouldn’t be involved in this and until there’s a better system where there isn’t that undue influence, there’s just no way to [lobby politicians] without participating in a fundamentally broken system.”

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