Google Employees Demand More Privacy Protection In Post-Roe World
Among the many companies that offered additional benefits to employees immediately following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was Alphabet, parent company of Google. The tech giant already provides unlimited sick days to full-time employees, but it added additional travel benefits and (after some legislative cajoling) also started removing user location data for anyone who visits an abortion clinic.
However, many of those benefits only applied to full-time workers. A petition circulating within Google is now asking for additional protections for temps, vendors, and contract workers (known as TVCs), a group which some estimate to be nearly half of Google’s total workforce.
The petition demands an increase of sick days for TVC from the current three to a minimum of seven. It also asks for an increase of the daily reimbursement rate for out-of-state medical expenses from $50 to $150.
Perhaps most important of all is the demand for additional search privacy for abortion access information. The petition specifies search history for abortion "must never be saved, handed over to law enforcement, or treated as a crime." In order to do this, the petition suggests Google simply cease recording searches for abortion information, thus making it impossible to hand such information over to law enforcement if requested in a subpoena.
As noted by Engadget and NPR, there’s a very real concern that recorded information can be used as evidence by states prosecuting illegal abortions. One such case in Nebraska submitted Facebook messages acquired by court order as evidence that a woman’s stillbirth was actually an illegal abortion.
The petition makes additional demands for Google to remove search results for fake abortion providers, cease offering search results for publishers of disinformation regarding abortions, and stop supporting political organizations that "infringe on other human rights issues related to voting access and gun control."
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