If you’re looking to get back some of your privacy, Google recently introduced new policies that’ll let users protect themselves from Google Search. By that, we mean giving people control over what personally-identifiable information shows up in search results.
For those unaware, removing personal information from Google is nothing new, but this week the search giant added some much-needed changes. Before today, users could request Google to take down explicit images, fake images, and addresses to prevent doxxing. Plus, Google will even let parents remove photos of children under 18.
To help improve privacy and online safety, Google is expanding this program and giving people the option to delete more of themselves from search results. Here’s what the company had to say regarding what’s changing:
“People can now request removals of additional types of information found in search results, including personal contact information like a phone number, email address, or physical address. The policy also allows for the removal of additional information that may pose a risk for identity theft, such as confidential log-in credentials, when it appears in search results.”
This is a policy expansion, but unfortunately, the company doesn’t go into too many details regarding how the process happens. We mean if removals are done using AI or an actual human.
Google further explains that after a removal request, it’ll evaluate all the content to make sure it’s something that should get erased from search results. It will not be removed if the information is broadly available in news articles, on a government site, from official resources, or is a public record.
Moving forward, if you find personally identifiable information, including your physical address, phone number, credit or debit card information, images of your ID or signature, explicit materials, or highly personal information, you can start a removal request.