European Internet users have been able to request for several years the removal of certain results which identify them personally from the Google search engine. However, until then the procedure was quite vague and the firm could refuse certain results, without the possibility of appeal. Google has just updated the page to remove certain search results that personally identify you.
If the request concerns one of the types of results allowed, you can now obtain the deletion of the data from the Google database within a few days – regardless of your place of residence, even outside the European Union. A very useful remedy, especially if your telephone number or home address has slipped into the search engine results. In this quick tutorial, we explain in detail how to do it.
How to quickly remove your phone number or other personal data from Google results
For it :
- Make sure before you start that you have a scanned copy of a valid ID (Passport)
- Also make sure that the data is listed in the types accepted by Google *
- … and that you fall into the circumstances allowing you to request the deletion of this data **
- Go to this page and press Start removal request
- You must then provide all the supporting documents requested and clearly explain your case (in English, for the moment)
Note that if you reside in the European Union, another deletion request form is available here. In this case, we recommend that you start with this one before using the page linked above if your request is rejected. The link above (in English) nevertheless works for all the personal data listed including those generated by people living outside the European Union and therefore not covered by the General Data Protection Regulation.
** What types of data are accepted by the Google form?
If you use the link presented on this page, the following data appearing unencrypted in Google results may, following your request, be deleted within a few days:
- Personal identification numbers issued by a. government (social security number, tax number, passport number, identity card number, driver’s license number, etc.)
- Bank account numbers
- Payment / credit card numbers
- Handwritten signature photos
- Photos of identity documents
- Highly personal and confidential official records such as your medical records
- Personal contact information (physical address, telephone numbers, email address, etc.)
- Login credentials / passwords
In the event that you reside in one of the countries of the European Union, this form lets you request the deletion of other data concerning you, however the procedure is more uncertain depending on the data – and you must justify for each entry the reason for which you are requesting deletion.
Google specifies: “Following your request, we are trying to strike a balance between protecting the privacy of the individual concerned and the interest of the general public in accessing this information, as well as the right of third parties to disseminate it. For example, we may refuse to delete information regarding financial fraud, professional negligence, criminal convictions or public conduct adopted by an official”.
* What are the conditions for the request to be accepted?
In the case of the international deletion request form, two conditions apply – in addition to the fact that the data in question must be part of the list given above:
- Your contact details must be present
- There is an explicit or implicit threat
- Or express or implied calls for action to harm or harass you
Once the request has been submitted, you will receive a confirmation by email. Google may in the following days ask you for additional supporting documents before proceeding with the actual deletion.
If you are in the European Union, the criteria are more vague. You will need to be able to clearly justify how the identified personal information relates to you and why you believe that the deletion of personal information, such as your personal telephone number, is necessary.
Google also calls on users to request the removal of problematic content from the platforms on which they are published. Blogger, Facebook and other platforms have their own deletion form. If the content is deleted on the platforms where it was included, requesting the deletion of Google results is simpler and more trivial.