Finally, Google also makes it easier for you to make sure your personal information doesn’t show up in online search results – and all it took were hundreds of thousands of requests over nearly a decade.
The Alphabet-owned internet search giant recently rolled out new policies and tools that allow users to quickly and easily request the deletion of personal data — like phone numbers, email addresses, or even email addresses. even the physical address – from the search results. Previously, users had to present evidence of potential harm, such as doxxing or identity theft, in order for Google to remove their personal information from search results, the company noted in an above post. April blog.
Now, you can remove your information from those results for any reason – and with the click of a button.
“For many people, an important element of feeling safer and more private online is having greater control over where their sensitive, personally identifiable information can be found.” , Danielle Romain, Google’s vice president of operations, wrote in a separate blog post Wednesday. .
Importantly, not every request is guaranteed approval: The company must not remove your personal data from search results if the information is reliable – for example, if it appears in an article relevant – or if it was included on a government website or another official source, according to Google.
“It is important to note that when we receive a removal request, we evaluate all content on the site to ensure that we are not limiting the availability of other useful information, such as such as in articles,” the company noted in Wednesday’s blog post.
Currently, anyone can fill out an online form to submit a removal request. On Wednesday, the company announced a new tool coming soon, where users who find their personal information in search results will be able to request removal of that data with just a few clicks. The company says the tool will be available “in the coming months.”
The company says it wants to process all deletion requests quickly, and that the decision will be made through a combination of algorithmic tools and human oversight of the requests.
On the online form, you can click the option to “remove selected personally identifiable information (PII) or doxxing content from Google Search.” From there, you’ll answer a series of questions about what kind of personal information shows up in search results, the URLs of the websites that display the information, the search terms used to show those results. in Google searches and even screenshots of web pages and search results.
The form also asks if your personal information is being shared “for doxxing purposes”, if it includes pornography, or if it needs to be removed for legal reasons.
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