Private data of an internet user is scattered all over the internet today. So it is one reason why it has become inevitable for some personal information to turn up in Google’s search results. However, we have come to find out that Google has a process that lets you request the removal of specific search results.
In April, the company added new categories of information that could be taken down upon requests. For example, it includes physical addresses and phone numbers.
Google’s global policy lead for search, Michelle Chang, in an April 27 blog post, wrote, “The availability of personal contact information online can be jarring — and it can be used in harmful ways, including for unwanted direct contact or even physical harm.”
Here are the types of personal information Google will remove from search results and how you can make such requests.
Google will remove the following information from the search:
- Personal contact information, including physical address, telephone number, and email address.
- Content leading to identity theft like bank account and a credit card or signature images.
- Details posing a risk of hacking like login passwords and IDs.
- Search results with deep-fake pornography or explicit images.
- Medical records or other confidential information.
- “Irrelevant pornography” is tied to your name.
- Pictures of minors.
However, if you want to get these search links taken down, it is not something that will happen automatically. Instead, you need to file a request and include the URLs of pages hosting your information. Along with that, you also need to put search pages that will surface those links.
You may also need to include screenshots of the information in question.
Google will evaluate your request to consider if the removal would limit access to publicly available information or if it is broadly useful, like a news article. You will get a notification of any action which will be taken. Depending on the context and content, Google may remove the links from all search results or from the results that include your name.
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