Arizona AG issues privacy guidance for consumers seeking reproductive health care

Aug 17, 2023, 9:02 AM | Updated: 9:04 am

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes speaks during a roundtable on data privacy guidance for people ...

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes speaks during a roundtable on data privacy guidance for people seeking reproductive health care on Aug. 16, 2023. (X Photo/@AZAGMayes)

(X Photo/@AZAGMayes)

PHOENIX – Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes issued a consumer alert with guidance on how to avoid leaving a digital footprint while seeking reproductive health care.

“In a world in which we do everything online, many individuals leave a trail in their web browsing, search history, map history and other application data,” Mayes said in a press release Wednesday.

“While abortion remains legal in Arizona, the legal landscape around this issue remains in flux, and it is important for individuals to be aware of the digital footprint they create so they can make informed decisions about protecting their data privacy.”

Mayes discussed her data privacy guidance during a roundtable Wednesday with health care providers, advocates and community leaders.

What is covered in reproductive health care privacy guidance?

The consumer alert covers topics such as keeping internet searches private, limiting tracking features, securing electronic communications and the best way to make payments.

It also cautions about the use of period-tracking apps, some of which reportedly sell or share personal information with advertisers and data brokers.

The guidance includes instructions on how to use private search functions on web browsers and how to change tracking settings on Apple and Android mobile devices.

“Consumer education around data privacy management is vitally important in a world in which data lives forever,” Mayes said. “This guidance provides simple tips to empower consumers to manage their data privacy.”

What is Arizona’s abortion law?

Abortions are allowed in Arizona in the first 15 weeks of pregnancy under a 2022 law.

Mayes made reproductive rights a key issue of her campaign for attorney general last year after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the ruling that protected abortion access at the federal level for nearly 50 years.

The Democrat created a Reproductive Rights Unit in the agency after taking office in January.

Earlier this month, Mayes joined a multistate amicus brief in support of a lawsuit challenging Idaho’s so-called abortion travel ban.

In May, she took similar action against a Texas U.S. District Court judge ruling that would limit medication abortion access.

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Arizona AG issues privacy guidance for consumers seeking reproductive health care