Google has been taking major steps to improve user privacy and safety for its services. The tech giant recently rolled out a new Data Safety section on the Play Store that shows what user data the apps collect. Now, it has announced a new ability, which will let you remove your personal contact information from search results to prevent financial fraud, identity theft, or other cyber attacks. Let’s take a look at the details below.
Google Now Lets You Remove Your Number from Search Results
Google will now let you request the removal of any personal information such as phone numbers, addresses, and more that shows up in search results. Previously, you could request Google to remove private data such as banking information, national ID numbers, medical records, and images of personal signatures from their search engine.
The company recently updated the official support document for the removal request process by adding “personal contact info” under the requirements to remove personally identifiable info (PII).
Following a request for removal, Google will evaluate the submitted URL(s) before taking the necessary actions. You can initiate a removal request right here and submit the URLs, containing your personal information, that appears in Google search results. You can submit up to 1,000 URLs.
“When we receive removal requests, we will evaluate all content on the web page to ensure that we’re not limiting the availability of other information that is broadly useful, for instance in news articles. We’ll also evaluate if the content appears as part of the public record on the sites of government or official sources. In such cases, we won’t make removals,” the company said in a blog post.
If the company finds that the submitted URLs are within the scope of the policies, they will be removed for all queries on Google. In another scenario, the URLs will be removed for queries, involving your name. If a request could not be evaluated properly, Google may also request additional information, which you will have to provide to support your case. It is further revealed that personal information will still be available on the internet. Hence, you can contact the hosting site for more details on this.
This move comes in addition to a recent policy, which lets teenagers request the removal of their photos in Google Search. The new update could be useful for Google users, especially influencers and public figures who are always at risk for cyber-bullying, malicious attacks, and identity theft. What do you think of this new functionality? Let us know about it in the comments below.