Google is finally making it easy for you to make sure your personal information doesn’t show up in online search results – and there have been thousands of requests for it for almost a decade.
Alphabet-owned Internet search giant has recently introduced new policies and tools that allow users to quickly and easily remove personal data – such as your phone number, email address or even a real address – from search results. Previously, users had to show evidence of potential harm, such as docking or identity theft, for Google to remove their personal information from search results, the company noted in an April blog post.
Now, you can delete your data from those results for any reason – and just click a button.
“For many people, a key element in feeling secure and more personal online is having more control over where their sensitive, personally-identifiable information can be found,” Daniel Romain, vice president of Google Trust, wrote in a separate blog post on Wednesday. .
Importantly, approval of each request is not guaranteed: the company cannot delete your personal data from its search results if the information is newsworthy – for example, if it appears in a relevant news article – or if it is included in a government website or other official source, According to Google.
“It’s important to note that when we receive a removal request, we will evaluate all content on the web page so that we do not limit the availability of other information that is widely useful, for example in news articles,” the company notes in Wednesday’s blog post.
Currently, anyone can fill out an online form to submit a removal request On Wednesday, the company announced a new upcoming tool, where users who find their personal information in search results will be able to request the removal of that data with just a few clicks. The company said the tool would be available “in the coming months”.
The company says it wants to expedite all removal requests and the decision will be made through a combination of algorithmic tools and human monitoring of requests.
In the online form, you can click the “Remove Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or Docking Content” option from Google Search. From there, you’ll answer multiple questions about the type of personal information displayed in search results, the URLs of websites that display information, the search terms used to launch those results in Google search, and even websites and search screenshots. The result
The form further asks if your personal information is being shared “with doxing intent”, if it contains explicit content or if it needs to be removed for legal reasons.