Google has announced a policy expansion to give users more options to remove their personally identifiable information from search results. Under the new expansion, users can now request removals of additional information, including personal contact information.
Other than contact information, users can request the removal of other types of information that might show up in search results, including phone numbers, email addresses, physical addresses, as well as any additional information that may pose an identity theft risk, including log-in credentials and images of identification documents when they might appear in search results.
Google already has a set of policies that lets users remove any personally identifiable information focussing on highly personal content that, if discovered in public, can cause direct harm to the related person. This new extension is Google’s way of continuing to evolve with the internet and protecting its users the best it can.
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New policies for an evolving internet
To request information removal, you’ll have to give Google a list of URLs linking to the information you want to be removed, as well as any search pages that show those links. Once a request is submitted, it’ll go through an evaluation to determine f the content is of public interest, including whether the content is newsworthy, professionally relevant or coming from the Government.
If Google decides that the content should be removed, it’ll either not appear in any search results or at least won’t appear in searches that include your name.
Additionally, according to a support page, Google will also remove any non-consensual explicit or intimate personal images, including pornographic deepfakes or any manipulated images that feature your likeness, including links to sites with “exploitative removal practices”.
However, as is the case and has been pointed out by the search engine giant, removing the information from Google doesn’t remove it from the internet. While the links you report might not appear in Google’s search results, they’ll still be accessible through other channels.
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