Google Search Allows Removal Of Personally Identifiable Information

Google is rolling out new ways to remove personally identifiable information from search results such as phone numbers and physical addresses.

This update expands on an existing policy that allows people to request the removal of personally identifiable information that is of a sensitive nature, such as bank accounts and credit card numbers.

Now, you can request the removal of any information that may compromise your privacy or put you at risk of identity theft.

Google explains in an announcement:

“Under an extension to this new policy, people can now request the removal of additional types of information when they find it in search results, including personal contact information such as a phone number, email address or physical address. Policy Additional Information It also allows the removal of information that could pose a risk for identity theft, such as confidential log-in credentials when appearing in search results.

You will need to fill out a request form to remove personal information from Google.

The form asks you to provide details about the type of information published, and to answer a series of questions about why you want to remove it.

Each request is evaluated according to a set of criteria listed in the next section. If a request is approved, the URL will be removed from Google’s search index.

Here is more information about the types of personally identifiable information that you can request Google to remove.

Removing Personally Identifiable Information from Google

From Google’s help docs:

“Google may remove Personally Identifiable Information (PII) that has the potential to create a significant risk of identity theft, financial fraud, harmful direct contact, or other specific harm. This includes doxxing, which occurs when Your contact information is shared maliciously.”

You can request the deletion of the following types of information:

  • Confidential government identification (ID) numbers such as US Social Security numbers
  • Bank account number
  • Credit Card Number
  • handwritten signature images
  • id docs images
  • Highly personal, restricted and official records, such as medical records
  • Personal contact information (physical addresses, phone numbers and email addresses)
  • confidential login credentials

In addition, you can request the removal of contact information if it appears with threats to your personal safety.

Google will only deny requests if the personally identifiable information appears on a page that is widely believed to be useful, such as a news article.

Content that appears as part of public records on government websites will also not be removed.

You will need to fill out a form and submit it to Google to initiate a removal request. Be prepared, as the form asks you to provide several details.

Google will then review the request and notify you of the action it has decided to take.

It is important to note that the content will still exist on the web after it is removed from Google.

If anyone has the URL they can view it directly in a web browser or share it on social media.

Google’s ability to remove content is limited to search results only.

Source, Google
Featured image: Thepana Onfly/Shutterstock

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