Data Brokers Track Abortion Clinic Visits for Anyone to Buy

If the war in Ukraine and Russia’s still-unfolding atrocities there didn’t offer enough fodder for doomscrolling, this week supplied a new dose of domestic crisis: A leaked Supreme Court draft decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade, demolishing a ruling that has served as a cornerstone of reproductive rights for nearly five decades. And this crisis, too, will play out in the digital realm as much as the physical and legal ones.

WIRED’s Lily Hay Newman responded to the news with a guide to protecting your privacy if you’re seeking an abortion in a near-future world in which Roe has in fact been overturned. As right-wing pundits demand the Supreme Court leaker’s prosecution, meanwhile, we analyzed the laws concerning leaks of unclassified government information like a draft court ruling and found that there’s no clear statute criminalizing that sort of information sharing. And law professor Amy Gajda walked us through the history of Supreme Court information leaks, which stretches back hundreds of years.

As Russia’s war in Ukraine grinds on, we looked at how small, consumer-grade drones are offering a defensive tool to Ukrainians that they’re exploiting as in no other war in history. And further abroad in India, a battle is taking shape between VPN firms and the Indian government, which is demanding they hand over users’ data. Meanwhile, the country’s new “super app,” Tata Neu, has sparked user privacy concerns.

And there’s more. As we do every week, we’ve rounded up all the news that we didn’t break or cover in-depth. Click on the headlines to read the full stories. And stay safe out there.

If Roe‘s precedent ceases to protect people seeking abortions across the United States, the question of who can digitally surveil those seeking abortions and abortion providers—and how to evade that surveillance—will become a civil liberties battle of the highest urgency. This week, Motherboard’s Joseph Cox fired the opening salvos of that battle with a series of stories about data brokers who offer to sell location data that include individuals’ visits to abortion clinics and Planned Parenthood offices, an egregious form of surveillance capitalism with immediate human consequences….