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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