Google Search removal requests have been expanded to include personal contact information
Google has now expanded Google Search removal requests to include additional personal contact information, such as a person’s phone number, email address, or physical address.
Until now, users could request removal of other sensitive information from search, such as doxxing content, which is when someone’s contact information is maliciously shared, or information such as bank account or credit card numbers. that could be used for financial fraud.
As part of the extended policy, users can also request the removal of additional information that may pose an identity theft risk, such as confidential login credentials, when it appears in search results.
“The availability of personal contact information online can be shocking – and it can be used in harmful ways, including for unwanted direct contact or even physical harm. And people have given us feedback that they would like be able to remove this type of information from search in some cases,” Michelle Chang, global policy manager for Google Search, wrote in a post.
Chang said that when a Google Search removal request is submitted, Google evaluates all content on the webpage. Following the evaluation, Google may remove the provided URL from all search queries; remove search results where the query includes a person’s name or other provided identifiers, such as aliases; or, in certain circumstances, refuse the request.
“We will evaluate all webpage content to ensure that we are not limiting the availability of other widely useful information, such as in news articles,” Chang said.
“We will also assess whether content appears in the public record on government sites or official sources. In such cases, we will not make removals.”
Google cautioned, however, that removing content from Google Search does not remove it from the internet, and recommended users contact the hosting site directly if that’s what they want it to be entirely. deleted.
This latest update follows Google’s rollout of a new policy last October to allow people under the age of 18, or their parents or guardians, to request removal of their images from Google search results.