Privacy threats should never stand in the way of our ability make choices about our body. But with the sudden disappearance of protections from Roe v. Wade, and as states pass a growing number of “bounty laws'' criminalizing abortion and gender-affirming care, people seeking needed care face new digital privacy threats. The current climate is especially dangerous for marginalized communities and the healthcare providers serving them. That's why we're proud to co-sponsor Asm. Mia Bonta's A.B. 793, which will provide critical protections.
Current California law prohibits companies from sharing sensitive reproductive data. But police can skirt this protection if they don't say specifically why they want the data. One way they do this is by seeking "reverse warrants." There are two prominent types of reverse demands: geofence warrants and keyword search warrants.
Normal warrants seek information about a particular person, such as places they've been or the keywords they searched for online. A reverse demand seeks the opposite: the identity of all the people who were present at a particular location or who searched for a particular keyword. These warrants, already used to target protestors, can be used to conduct broad fishing expeditions for those who are seeking needed healthcare.
A coalition of civil liberties, privacy, and reproductive justice groups support this bill because we recognize that California needs to shore up our defenses now to truly protect access to reproductive rights and healthcare for all. We must take these types of dragnet surveillance demands off the table.
Tell your Assemblymember that you support A.B. 793, and urge them to support it, too.
A.B. 793 is a California bill. If you're outside of the state of California, please consider urging your state legislators to act on similar bills. Please sign up for updates from EFF for future opportunities to take action in your jurisdiction.
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