Google expands its personal data delisting policy

Internet users will therefore be able to submit a request to Google, but under certain conditions: the person must be the victim of threats or harassment in connection with the data disclosed online.

It was already possible to ask Google to remove from its search results pages containing credit card numbers, a medical file or even a social insurance number, under these same conditions. The list of requests accepted by the web giant has therefore been extended to telephone numbers, email addresses and postal addresses.

The objective is to reduce the risk of harassment linked in particular to the disclosure of confidential data by malicious people (doxxing).

The disclosure of personal data online, more commonly known as the doxxingis the act of publicly revealing a person’s e-mail address, home address or telephone number with the intention of harming them or causing them to be harassed.

The internet continues to evolve – information can appear in unexpected places, with new ways to use it – so our privacy policy [des utilisateurs et utilisatrices] also needs to evolve said Michelle Chang, head of global policy at Google Search.

The latter clarified that the evaluation of the pages brought to the attention of Google aims not to dereference press articles, which could for example provide postal addresses which are of public interest.

We will also assess whether such content appears in public documents, government sites or other official sources. If so, we will not proceed with the withdrawal. »

A quote from Michelle Chang, Head of Global Policy at Google Search

In an interview with the Reuters news agency, Michelle Chang indicated that 13% of delisting requests are successful, a statistic she wants to see inflated. She also clarified that complaints are assessed within a few days.

Making a request to Google is a first step in the delisting of personal data, but is not an end, because the information may remain accessible on other search engines. Michelle Chang encourages Internet users to directly contact the site that hosts the pages that disclose sensitive data.

To submit a delisting request to Google, visit the Search Engine Help Center website (New window).

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