Opposition to sexual and reproductive rights develops digital tactics during COVID-19

Privacy International (PI) has published a report highlighting ten data exploitative tactics that the opposition to sexual and reproductive rights is using in the digital sphere to delay or cut back access to reproductive healthcare. It notes that, even though technology is providing great opportunities, and plays a vital role in democratising access to reproductive health information, services, care, and protecting people in need, especially in places where access is almost impossible, ‘data exploitative tech is being developed to be capable to obtain vast amounts of intimate information about people’s reproductive health’. 

 

The tentactics include:

  • Developing digital dossiers about those seeking pregnancy options
  • Deploying geo-fencing technology that can reportedly tag and target anti-abortion ads to the phones of people inside reproductive health clinics
  • Deploying online chat services
  • Developing smartphone apps that request vast amounts of information about people’s menstrual cycles and reproductive health, while sowing doubt over the safety of birth control 
  • Creating fake websites that offer objective counselling and information about pregnancy options
  • Integrating with government operations, including providing ‘options counselling’ to young pregnant migrants in the USA
  • Developing websites for crisis pregnancy centres that require the centres to use guarded anti-abortion language
  • Developing websites that have the potential to mislead people seeking pregnancy information, options, and services 
  • Co-ordinating international campaigns and trainings promoting an anti-reproductive rights agenda
  • Deploying targeted ads on social media that promote scientifically dubious health information
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