Google will start labeling facilities in search and Maps that provide specific services, including abortions.
For example, if Google has confirmed a health care facility provides abortions, results available through searches will display a label that reads “provides abortions.” If there is no way for Google to confirm, the facility will include a label reading “might not provide abortions.”
“When people turn to Google to find local information, we aim to help them easily explore the range of places available so they can determine which are most helpful to them,” Google said in a statement emailed to U.S. TODAY. “For a number of categories where we’ve received confirmation that places offer specific services, we’ve been working for many months on more useful ways to display those results.”
Google said it uses different methods to verify a facility offers specific services, such as regularly calling the business and “working with authoritative data sources.”
The company will also apply labels for veterans hospitals and plans to expand to more places in the future.
The updates to search and Maps follow the landmark Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which had established the constitutional right to an abortion.
New laws banning abortion were scheduled to take effect Thursday in four states: Idaho, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. Thirteen states already have trigger bans that have taken effect.
The high court’s decision sparked fears from experts that people who seek abortions could be outed by tech companies to governments or law enforcement by handing over the troves of personal data they maintain upon request.
This month, a woman in Nebraska faced an abortion-related charge after police seized family Facebook messages.
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Google will label facilities in Search and Maps that provide abortions (2022, August 26)
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