Google has been hit with a class-action privacy complaint for allegedly collecting patients' sensitive health data from Planned Parenthood's website.
The complaint was filed Friday by an anonymous “Jane Doe” who alleges that she used Planned Parenthood's site to search for an abortion provider, and received treatment at the reproductive health care center's affiliate in Burbank, California.
“Plaintiff’s private communications to Planned Parenthood, including her sensitive information like being pregnant and searching for an abortion, were intercepted by Google through Google’s tracking technology incorporation on Planned Parenthood’s website,” the complaint alleges.
The complaint refers to an investigation by the app Lockdown Privacy, which reported last June that Planned Parenthood's site used third-party analytics tools leaked “extremely sensitive data" to third parties including Google, Meta and TikTok.
The data provided to Google included users' IP address, behavior on the site, ZIP code estimate, reason for visiting (including whether to schedule a surgical abortion), and pseudonymous identifier, according to The Washington Post.
After that report came out, Planned Parenthood said it would suspend the use of analytics tools from third parties like Google and Meta, according to The Post.
The complaint claims Google violated the California constitution, which includes a right to privacy, and various other privacy-related state laws.
Google hasn't yet commented on the lawsuit.
Meta is also facing a lawsuit for allegedly collecting sensitive data from health sites via the Meta Pixel tracking tool. The social media platform recently asked a federal judge to throw out that case, arguing that it instructs web developers to avoid sending sensitive health data.
“There is nothing inherently unlawful or harmful about the pixel-based analytics technology at the heart of this case,” the company argued in papers filed earlier this month in the Northern District of California. “Web developers -- not Meta -- choose whether, where, and how they will use the Meta Pixel.”
I know we can count on the same people who violate an individual's most personal rights to privacy, to effectively manage AI.