Google opens up requests to remove search results to private data

Google just expanded Google Search’s removal requests to include other personally identifiable contact information, such as a person’s phone number, email address, or physical address. now, internet users could request the removal of other sensitive information from search results, such as doxxing content (when a person’s contact details are maliciously shared) or information such as bank account numbers or credit card details that could be used for financial fraud.

As part of the new expanded policy implemented by the American giant, users can also request the deletion of other information that could pose a risk of identity theft, such as confidential login credentials, when they appear. in search results.

“The availability of personal contact information online can be shocking – and such information can be used in harmful ways, including for unwanted direct contact or even physical harm. Internet users have told us they want the ability to remove this type of information from search in certain circumstances,” Michelle Chang, Google Search’s global policy manager, wrote in a post.

The fruits of a new policy

Michelle Chang explains that when a Google Search removal request is submitted, Google evaluates the entire content of the web page. Following this evaluation, Google may remove the provided URL from all search queries, remove search results in which the query includes a person’s name or other provided identifiers, such as pseudonyms. “We will evaluate all content on the web page to ensure that we are not limiting the availability of other information that is broadly useful, for example in news articles,” says Michelle Chang.

“We will also assess whether the content is part of the public archives on the sites of government or official sources. In such cases, we will not make deletions”, assures the leader.

Google warned, however, that removing content from Google Search does not remove it from the internet, and recommended that people contact the hosting site directly if they wish to remove it entirely. This latest update follows Google’s launch last October of a new policy allowing minors, or their parents or guardians, to request removal of their images from Google search results.


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