Lawmakers Ask for Info on Meta’s Data Privacy Policies

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Concern on Capitol Hill continues to rise about reproductive data and big tech following Roe v. Wade’s overturn.

House lawmakers raised new concerns over social media conglomerate Meta and the privacy policies surrounding its users’ reproductive health data in a new letter sent to company CEO Mark Zuckerberg. 

“We fear it is only a matter of time before Meta is asked by law enforcement to turn over personal data of users in which they specifically cite attempting or performing abortion as the crime being investigated,” the letter reads. “It is completely foreseeable that Meta may be asked to turn over other sensitive data based on conversations related to assisting a friend or family member with transportation to obtain an abortion or providing money for cab fare or hotel accommodations.”

Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Reps. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., and Diana DeGette, D-Colo., asked for a briefing specifically focused on how Meta handles personal and private data stored on its platforms.

Policies and procedures that enable Meta officials to share user data with law enforcement officials and other third parties are some of the information lawmakers want from the briefing, as well as future Meta plans to better safeguard personal data and inform users of data sharing practices. 

Concerns over data privacy have mounted following the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Many individuals use software for fertility and reproductive planning, in addition to the location information that devices record when accessing different networks. 

Meta did not respond to a request for comment, but has previously informed users about the type of data it collects as well as controls available for users to restrict data sharing features.