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For California Electronic and Computing Services Companies, New Processes Required Before Responding to Warrants, Subpoenas and Other Information Requests


In response to the Dobbs decision, California enacted legislation intended to enhance data privacy and block record requests by other states concerning alleged abortion-related offenses that are lawful in California. In September, California launched a website – abortion.ca.gov – dedicated to abortion access information. The website includes a disclaimer: “California protects your privacy.”

On September 27, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed unique legislation that seeks to protect abortion data privacy by preventing out-of-state law enforcement officers from executing search warrants on California electronic communication and computing services companies for the purpose of investigating another state’s abortion-related offenses. For California-incorporated or -headquartered communications or computer services companies, Assembly Bill 1242 (AB 1242) significantly changes the process for responding to out-of-state law enforcement requests and lawful court orders for records of activity, such as cellphone location or internet usage, and wiretap requests. AB 1242 includes a series of laws with the sole purpose of protecting the privacy of abortion providers and seekers in California.

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