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Google adds more ways to remove personally identifiable information from search results

Highlights

  • Google has updated its privacy policy by adding new options
  • Users can now request the removal of information that compromises their privacy
  • Google’s ability to remove content is only limited to search results

Google has announced new options for removing personally identifiable information from Search results. For those unaware, Google allowed people to request the removal of certain sensitive information from the web until now. Now, the search giant has expanded the policy that allows people to request the removal of additional personal information.  

Also Read: Google’s Nearby Share is trying to become as good as AirDrop

In a blog post, Google stated 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.

Google adds more ways to remove personal information from search results

Users can now remove additional personal information appearing on Google Search

Google’s update to the existing policy enables people to request the removal of personally identifiable information from search results that are sensitive in nature like bank account details and credit card numbers. Google adds that this also allows the removal of information that may pose a risk of identity theft such as confidential log-in credentials that appear in the search results. 

Google clarifies that it won’t remove personally identifiable information on a page that is considered broadly useful such as a news article. Content that appears as a part of public records on government websites or official sources won’t be removed either. Google’s ability to remove content is only limited to search results. Hence it’s worth noting that information will still exist on the web even after it is removed from Google Search. Someone with a URL can visit it directly in a web browser. 

What and how Google will remove personal information from search results

With the updated policy, Google will be able to remove information including confidential government identification (ID) numbers like US Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, images of handwritten signatures, images of ID docs, highly personal, restricted, and official records, like medical records, personal contact info (physical addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses), and confidential login credentials. 

To begin a removal request, users are required to fill out and submit a form that asks for many details to Google. The search giant will then review the request and notify the user of its action. 

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Viraj Gawde

Viraj loves being in the creative field. Being a tech guy and resident tech advisor for his friends and family, his interest lies in smartphones, laptops and cameras. Passionate about creating art, his forte lies in photography. In his downtime, he loves gaming on his self-built rig and supporting FC Barcelona.