The news: US senators have sent letters to Apple and Google asking them to “prohibit apps available for download from engaging in data practices that may victimize individuals who seek or have sought abortion services” weeks after a leak revealed the Supreme Court may soon overturn Roe v. Wade (1973).
Tech’s tricky position: The overturning of Roe v. Wade could have dramatic consequences for Big Tech, which would become the gatekeeper for troves of data that could be requested by officials seeking to enforce anti-abortion laws.
Legal questions: Some tech firms like Apple and Amazon have taken a stance on the issue by adopting pro-choice internal policies like covering the medical expenses of employees who travel to receive an abortion. But laws being passed in states seeking to outlaw abortion could create complicated legal issues should companies refuse to provide data to authorities.
Where will Big Tech fall? Many questions remain about whether Roe v. Wade will be overturned and how state laws will be enforced, but tech’s internal policies already show the industry beginning to take sides.