Google recently announced that it has updated a policy that allows you to request to remove more personal contact information from Search. Previously, the policy only covered information like your bank account or credit card numbers, and other information that could be used for financial fraud.
The expansion of the policy now includes requests for the removal of information like a phone number, email address, or physical address. In addition, it includes other information that could pose a threat for identity theft like confidential log-in credentials.
The new policy comes after people gave the company feedback that they would like the ability to remove this type of information from Search.
“The availability of personal contact information online can be jarring — and it can be used in harmful ways, including for unwanted direct contact or even physical harm.”
Michelle Chang, Global Policy Lead for Search
When it receives removal requests, the company will evaluate all content on the webpage. This is to ensure that it will not limit the availability of other information that is useful like in the example of new articles. Moreover, it will evaluate if the content appears as part of the public record on sites of government and official sources. In the aforementioned cases, the information won’t be removed.
If the removal request doesn’t meet the company’s requirements, it will explain briefly why it was denied.
Google clarified though that removing content from Search won’t remove it from the internet.
In addition, it rolled out a new policy that allows people under the age of 18 or their parent or guardian to request the removal of their images from Google Search results.