Google Now Lets You Request The Removal Of Search Results That Contain Personal Data

Results with your address, phone number or email will be reviewed ‘more quickly.’

by Steve Dent / Engadget – You can read this article in its entirety HERE on Engadget’s web site

Google is releasing a tool that makes it easier to remove search results containing your address, phone number and other personally identifiable information, 9to5Google has reported. It first revealed the “results about you” feature at I/O 2022 in May, describing it as a way to “help you easily control whether your personally-identifiable information can be found in Search results.” 

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If you see a result with your phone number, home address or email, you can click on the three-dot menu at the top right. That opens the usual “About this result” panel, but it now contains a new “Remove result” option at the bottom of the screen. A dialog states that if the result contains one of those three things, “we can review your request more quickly.”

Google results about you privacy tool

You can then monitor the request in a new menu item in the Google app called “Results about you,” available by tapping your user profile at the top right. You can then monitor the progress of requests via filters “All requests,” “In progress” and “Approved.” 

The same page also lets you make a new request with a “Why would you like to remove this result” step. Options there include “It shows my personal contact info,” “It shows my contact into with an intent to harm me,” “It shows other personal info,” “It contains illegal info” and “It’s outdated.” Previously, though, Google has said that not all requests may be granted:

It’s important to note that 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. And of course, removing contact information from Google Search doesn’t remove it from the web, which is why you may wish to contact the hosting site directly, if you’re comfortable doing so.

The new feature has only rolled out to a limited number of users in the US and Europe, 9to5Google notes (I’ve yet to see it in France and I’m in the Google app beta). In the meantime, you can remove other personally identifiable information or doxxing content from Google Search via a removal request — there’s more information about that available here.

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