HomeHealthIn a post-Roe world, the future of digital privacy looks even bleaker

In a post-Roe world, the future of digital privacy looks even bleaker

Some location data analytics companies, including Foursquare, recently announced that they were restricting the use, sharing and selling data on consumer visits to sensitive locations such as reproductive health clinics. But law enforcement agencies with court orders can still obtain such location records.

The phone carriers that operate the backbone of wireless internet for smartphones have been quiet about plans to change data policies after the Roe v. Wade. AT&T, T-Mobile and CTIA, a trade group that represents carriers, declined to comment, and Frank Boulben, Verizon’s chief revenue officer, said the company had nothing new to announce.

For now, those looking to hide their digital footprints have limited options. This is what they are.

Various tools can be used to combat surveillance, including virtual private networks, encrypted messaging apps, private web browsers and disposable email accounts, civil liberties groups and privacy experts said.

What are you doing: A VPN creates a virtual tunnel that protects browsing information from an Internet service provider. When people use VPN software, their device connects to a VPN provider’s servers. All your web traffic goes through the VPN provider’s internet connection. So if their Internet provider was trying to listen to their web traffic while they were browsing the Planned Parenthood website, the provider would only see the Internet address of the VPN server connected to the VPN service.

What it doesn’t do: A VPN does not hide a device’s location from a cellular network. That’s because a device must register with a nearby cell tower before connecting to the VPN, which would reveal the device’s location to the phone company, Eren said.

What are you doing: When a message is encrypted through a chat service such as Apple’s iMessage, Meta’s WhatsApp, or Signal, it is encrypted when it is sent so that it is indecipherable to anyone other than its recipient, and it remains so when it passes through the server. application and reaches the recipient. .

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