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Privacy International's Attempt to Discredit Pro-Life Organization Falls Flat

Efforts to demean the life-affirming work of the pregnancy help movement took a new twist today when Privacy International published a rather lackluster piece purporting to call into question Heartbeat International’s privacy practices.

A UK-based company, Privacy International (PI) claims to support “people everywhere to protect privacy, dignity, and freedom. [PI targets] companies and governments that don’t respect your right to be free from their prying technologies.” They are supported financially by openly pro-abortion foundations such as the Ford Foundation and the Open Society Foundations (itself funded by George Soros).

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Today, PI took aim at Heartbeat International — a global network of more than 2,700 pro-life pregnancy help organizations — for offering such visually appealing, useful and effective resources as Extend Web Services websites, Next Level Center Mangement Solution, and Option Line

It is Unclear

Anyone who managed to make it all the way through PI’s meandering article might notice that it was laden with speculation and short on facts. Indeed, the piece contained the phrase “it is unclear” no fewer than seven times.

While the menacing headline read, “how anti-abortion activism is exploiting data,” it is unclear (to borrow PI’s favorite phrase) that any data whatsoever has been exploited.

In nearly 3,000 words, Privacy International does not identify a single instance of an improper disclosure or use of clients’ private or confidential information.

PI goes to great lengths to portray Heartbeat and its services as an ominous and complicated web, grabbing the data of millions of unsuspecting women. Yet, PI cannot provide a single concrete example of wrongdoing or harm or improper disclosure of client information.

Of course, using scary adjectives and suggesting a lack of transparency allows PI to make baseless, “unclear” accusations.

Tweet This: Using scary adjectives and suggesting a lack of transparency allows @privacyint to make baseless, “unclear” accusations.

What is perfectly clear, however, is PI’s own biased agenda.

(Speaking of international human rights law, we would be remiss if we did not at least mention the U.N. Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959), which reads: “... the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth.” Emphasis added.) 

Nothing to See Here

In perhaps the most ironic portion of the article, PI notes that it was unable to test what information was generated by Heartbeat’s Next Level Center Management System because it “requires a username and password.” Some call that a security feature, and in this instance, it did exactly what it was designed to do  protect users’ information from those who have no business accessing it.

Naturally, Heartbeat and its subsidiaries treat client and affiliate information with the utmost security and care. 

It seems that PI's chief accusation is that Heartbeat is offering cutting-edge services to centers and relevant, useful apps and services for women accessing the centers. To that end, we agree!

Frankly, a quick comparison of the privacy policies of Next Level and Planned Parenthood demonstrates that Next Level grants its users more privacy with far less wordiness.

Next Level's Privacy Policy on sharing data:

Next Level will never rent, sell, or lease your confidential information. However, Next Level may share such information with Next Level affiliates, partners, vendors, or contract organizations, or as legally necessary.  

Planned Parenthood's Policy on sharing data:

We may disclose the information we collect from or about you through the Online Services:

  • to our affiliates;
  • to service providers who work on our behalf and who have agreed to keep the information confidential and use the information solely to carry out the services that they are performing for us, including, but not limited to, service providers who process credit card transactions, facilitate our fundraising activities and campaigns, and deliver Targeted Advertisements on our behalf;
  • to other organizations that work with us for the provision of co-branded communications about Planned Parenthood and those organizations’ products or services;
  • to other organizations with whom Planned Parenthood participates in exchanges of supporter or donor information (e.g., donor list rental) and the service providers that facilitate such exchanges;
  • as required by law, such as to comply with a subpoena or other legal process, a court order, or government reporting obligations;
  • when we believe in good faith that disclosure is necessary (a) to protect our rights, the integrity of the Online Services, or your safety or the safety of others, or (b) to detect, prevent, or respond to fraud, intellectual property infringement, violations of our Terms of Use, violations of law, or other misuse of the Online Services; and
  • to service providers, advisors, and other third parties to the extent reasonably necessary to proceed with the negotiation or completion of a merger, acquisition, or sale of all or a portion of our assets.

Of course, Part 2 of this tantalizing series from Privacy International could be about Planned Parenthood’s nefarious use of client data, but we won’t hold our breath. 


Danielle White, Esq.

Danielle M. White, Esq., has served as legal counsel for Heartbeat International since 2015. She earned her J.D. from Ave Maria School of Law, where she ranked in the top-10 percent of her class and served as a senior editor for the Ave Maria Law Review. After her first year of law school, Danielle was awarded the prestigious Blackstone Fellowship and sent to London to study the bioethical issues surrounding a recently-developed human cloning procedure. A member of the Christian Legal Society, she has used her legal training to defend the traditional family, religious liberty and the right to life as an Allied Attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom and as a summer associate with The Thomas More Society in Chicago. Danielle is a member of the bar of the United States Supreme Court and State of Ohio.

A wife and mother of two, Danielle has always been passionate about serving women facing unplanned pregnancies. She grew up attending pro-life events, such as the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., and served with a maternity home during law school.