Google Search Now Allows the Removal of More Personal Information
Google Search is making a policy change, allowing users to request the removal of more personally identifiable information from the search engine. The company’s list of personally identifiable information now includes physical addresses, emails, or phone numbers.
The current list of personally identifiable information mentions government identification or ID numbers in countries such as the US (Social Security Number), Argentina, Brazil, South Korea, and China. It now covers bank account or credit card numbers, login credentials, photos of handwritten signatures or ID cards, etc.
“Having personal contact information online can be confusing-and it can be used in harmful ways, including for unwanted direct contact or even physical harm. And people have given in. feedback that they want the ability to remove this type of information from Search in some cases, “said Google (via 9to5Google).
Google offers guidance on removing personally identifiable information from Search
When a user requests to remove their personal data from Google Search, the company will ensure that the URL does not appear in a search query.
“This is typically for content related to confidential IDs, bank accounts, credit card numbers, and similar information,” Google clarifies. There is a second scenario for removal requests where the URL does not appear “for a search query containing your name, or other such identification.”
Google offers detailed guidance on removing PII (personally identifiable information) or doxxing content from Search on its page here. Users can also initiate data removal requests from the same page.
Google Search has a lot of impact, considering that it is one of the most popular search engines around. With this in mind, the company’s decision to expand the scope of what information can be removed is really welcome.
In related news, Google Search introduced a new personal results feature last year, allowing customers to complete their queries automatically. The search also began to offer results based on the user’s Google account information.
The second feature is clearly creepy, considering Big Tech’s years of data misuse. All users have to do is type in “my calendar” or “home directions,” and Search will do the rest. Furthermore, Search will also offer recommendations for restaurants and places of interest based on your Google account.