Tech companies may help cops prosecute abortion cases — Here are 8 ways to protect your Internet Privacy

Scott Westerman
4 min readJun 28, 2022
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

In the wake of recent Supreme Court rulings, law enforcement could compel tech companies to surrender more data to aid in abortion prosecutions.

While tech companies are not directly answering questions about how they’ll respond to law enforcement inquiries regarding abortion, their past conduct suggests that they will cooperate with criminal investigations. These operations collect enormous volumes of data on our daily activities, including our location, what we buy, and who we talk to.

In states that have made abortion a crime, anyone who miscarries is a potential target for a police data demand. This means that period-tracking apps, Amazon purchase history or Google search queries, could be used to investigate abortion cases.

In my days working as an internet service provider, our company routinely provided data to help law enforcement prosecute illegal activity. Many requests included warrants from a court, but some did not require that level of authority for us to comply. As laws change tech companies will likely review the volume of data they’re collecting, what they must provide, and seek clarity on how long they must retain it.

Our favorite hangouts, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google search, Gmail and the like have long collected and sold information about us to entities who want to influence our behavior. If you’ve ever been in “Facebook Jail” for some random post they felt was inappropriate, you know “Meta” is watching your every move, both on your timeline and in your messenger conversations.

The same goes for the applications on your smart devices. Any data retained is data that might be subpoenaed. Apps that help you purchase things, track your health or count the days between menstrual cycles are windows into what we onec thought was a very private world.

Now, they have the potential to impact your life in a profound and uncomfortable way.

It’s wise to review your own habits and explore tools to keep prying eyes from spying on your internet activity.

Here are 8 things you can do to maximize your internet privacy.