In light of the recent decision of the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, four US senators are now pushing the FTC to investigate Google and Apple over their mobile tracking practices. The data collected by the trackers could eventually be used to track down women seeking abortion, it says in the letter.
- US senators are now urging FTC to investigate mobile tracking practices of Google and Apple.
- The lawmakers are concerned that data collected could help track down women who may seek an abortion.
- VPN is an effective tool in hiding a user's identity or location.
Despite the two companies introducing steps to limit mobile tracking in their respective operating systems, advertising identifiers are still heavily present and allowed. Developers have access to these IDs which they eventually use to target users with specific ads. It's not only true with Google or Apple, most manufacturers such as Xiaomi and Samsung also use targeted advertising.
This is why the lawmakers are concerned because it may be possible for data brokers to access the collected information, such as location and names, and sell it to other parties. Google has clearly denied the allegations of these lawmakers.
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In regard to abortion now being illegal in many states, women who seek the procedure may opt to travel to other states where it is allowed. The US senators who penned the letter are worried that "bounty hunters" will take advantage of these scenarios in order to survey and track down women before denying them the needed medical service.
How to avoid being tracked or identified when using the internet
Companies are now starting to implement new privacy measures where websites and apps are required to give options to the users if they would allow collecting of such identifiers. However, most users are still prone to these harmful practices and there are several ways to counter them.
Two of the easiest ways to beat these ad identifiers is to use a VPN and by turning on incognito mode when searching the World Wide Web. The first option is very effective in hiding your actual location and identity but it will cost you a few bucks. You can read our VPN guide and find out the best one for you.
Do you think it is unfair for these companies to use targeted advertisements? Let us know your thoughts.