Kairos Fellowship

Why is this important?

Companies like Meta (formerly Facebook) and Google have a business model that relies on collecting as much personal information about us as possible. The data these companies have on us is a goldmine to anti-abortion groups and law enforcement looking to use that information to prosecute those daring to make choice about their own healthcare. Fighting back doesn’t stop at protecting just your personal information and certainly isn’t enough. We need collective action against the companies that manage our online spaces – because ultimately they rely on us.


Earlier this year the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. So much of the conversation about abortion care and the Courts had already been happening in online spaces but on that day, June 24th, 2022, rage and fear lit up the internet. 

Anger got channeled into community centered action. Millions of dollars were raised to advance state and local efforts to find reproductive healthcare for those in need.1 Fear about how digital data would be used to punish those seeking reproductive healthcare was met with practical solutions like using an encrypted messaging platform in order to keep conversations about abortion care secure.

But we heard little to nothing from the corporations that make that fear a reality. Companies like Meta (formerly Facebook) and Google have a business model that relies on collecting as much personal information about us as possible. The data these companies have on us is a goldmine to anti-abortion groups and law enforcement looking to use that information to prosecute those daring to make a choice about their own healthcare.

Fighting back doesn’t stop at protecting just your personal information and certainly isn’t enough. We need collective action against the companies that manage our online spaces – because ultimately they rely on us.

We’ve already seen how law enforcement leverages Big Tech to aid and abet the restriction of reproductive health care. In August, news broke of Meta handing over a teenager’s messages to the police as part of an investigation related to an abortion she had. These messages became key evidence and were used to prosecute her for having an abortion in Nebraska.2

These types of stories underscore the necessary change we need to see. These are our demands of Meta and Google: 

  1. Protect users seeking reproductive healthcare by stopping the collection and retention of individual location, search data, and conversations — from end to end encryption to automatic deletion there are ways for companies to better protect our data from the beginning.
  1. Publicly address how they will handle law enforcement requests for data which should include: scrutinizing overly broad warrants and notifying users of requests for information — we shouldn’t have to wait and find out what Big Tech companies plan to do with our info when approached.
  1. Remove abortion disinformation in all languages —  false information increases fears and has real health consequences, especially for communities that already face barriers to all reproductive health services.


Sources:

1. “
Facebook Gave Nebraska Cops A Teen’s DMs. They Used Them To Prosecute Her For Having An Abortion.,” Forbes, August 8, 2022.

2. “Donations and demand increase for groups that help pay for abortions,” WYFI, July 22, 2022.

Demand Big Tech protect users and take our data seriously

Companies like Meta (formerly Facebook) and Google have a business model that relies on collecting as much personal information about us as possible. The data these companies have on us is a goldmine to anti-abortion groups and law enforcement looking to use that information to prosecute those daring to make choice about their own healthcare. Fighting back doesn’t stop at protecting just your personal information and certainly isn’t enough. We need collective action against the companies that manage our online spaces – because ultimately they rely on us.

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Why is this important?

Companies like Meta (formerly Facebook) and Google have a business model that relies on collecting as much personal information about us as possible. The data these companies have on us is a goldmine to anti-abortion groups and law enforcement looking to use that information to prosecute those daring to make choice about their own healthcare. Fighting back doesn’t stop at protecting just your personal information and certainly isn’t enough. We need collective action against the companies that manage our online spaces – because ultimately they rely on us.


Earlier this year the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. So much of the conversation about abortion care and the Courts had already been happening in online spaces but on that day, June 24th, 2022, rage and fear lit up the internet. 

Anger got channeled into community centered action. Millions of dollars were raised to advance state and local efforts to find reproductive healthcare for those in need.1 Fear about how digital data would be used to punish those seeking reproductive healthcare was met with practical solutions like using an encrypted messaging platform in order to keep conversations about abortion care secure.

But we heard little to nothing from the corporations that make that fear a reality. Companies like Meta (formerly Facebook) and Google have a business model that relies on collecting as much personal information about us as possible. The data these companies have on us is a goldmine to anti-abortion groups and law enforcement looking to use that information to prosecute those daring to make a choice about their own healthcare.

Fighting back doesn’t stop at protecting just your personal information and certainly isn’t enough. We need collective action against the companies that manage our online spaces – because ultimately they rely on us.

We’ve already seen how law enforcement leverages Big Tech to aid and abet the restriction of reproductive health care. In August, news broke of Meta handing over a teenager’s messages to the police as part of an investigation related to an abortion she had. These messages became key evidence and were used to prosecute her for having an abortion in Nebraska.2

These types of stories underscore the necessary change we need to see. These are our demands of Meta and Google: 

  1. Protect users seeking reproductive healthcare by stopping the collection and retention of individual location, search data, and conversations — from end to end encryption to automatic deletion there are ways for companies to better protect our data from the beginning.
  1. Publicly address how they will handle law enforcement requests for data which should include: scrutinizing overly broad warrants and notifying users of requests for information — we shouldn’t have to wait and find out what Big Tech companies plan to do with our info when approached.
  1. Remove abortion disinformation in all languages —  false information increases fears and has real health consequences, especially for communities that already face barriers to all reproductive health services.


Sources:

1. “
Facebook Gave Nebraska Cops A Teen’s DMs. They Used Them To Prosecute Her For Having An Abortion.,” Forbes, August 8, 2022.

2. “Donations and demand increase for groups that help pay for abortions,” WYFI, July 22, 2022.

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