Google allows users to remove their personal contact information from its search results, including phone numbers, physical locations, and email addresses. According to the Alphabet-owned search giant, the adjustment is being made to safeguard users from “unwanted direct contact or potentially bodily injury,”
Google said it had previously permitted people to request the removal of certain types of information. Still, the new policy is part of a more significant effort to assist users in protecting their data. Before the new procedure, people could previously request the removal of more precise information, such as bank account or credit card details.
The shift comes as a result of an increase in online fraud. According to the Federal Trade Commission, consumers lost $5.8 billion to scammers last year, up 70% from the previous year. Online scams, such as romance frauds, telephone solicitations, and identity theft, account for many cons.
“Because the internet is continually evolving – with content appearing in unexpected places and being used in new ways,” Michelle Chang, Google’s global policy lead for search, wrote a blog post explaining the new policy.
The removal of the information, according to Google, can also protect users from doxing, which occurs when personal information such as emails or addresses is released publicly with malicious purposes, such as inciting online harassment.
Here’s how you can have your data erased from Google searches.
What will Google’s search results be devoid of?
Google has announced that personal contact information, such as your phone number, email address, or physical address, will no longer appear in its search results.
Previously, consumers could only request that more sensitive personal data be erased, such as Social Security numbers, bank account and credit card details, photographs of unique signatures, and medical records.
How can I have my phone number and other personal information removed from Google?
To get started, go to this Google page. The page will prompt you to enter the URL addresses of the websites that contain the information you wish to have deleted from Google’s search results.
What happens if I request that Google delete my information?
According to Google, you will receive an automated response confirming that your request was received. Following that, the search platform will examine the request and may request additional details. For example, if a site URL is missing from the request, it will prompt you to correct it and resubmit the application.
After that, Google will notify you if it takes any action. It might, for example, delete site addresses from all search searches or from specific queries that include your name or other personal information.
Will Google approve all requests?
No. Google stated that it would review all requests to ensure that it is not restricting widely helpful content, such as news items. It will also see if the information is part of the public record, such as government documents. In that instance, Google has stated that the material will not be removed from search results.
Will my personal information vanish from the internet if Google deletes it?
No. Google warns that just because something gets removed from a search result does not imply it is no longer available on the internet. You should also contact any hosting site where your information appears and request that it be removed to guarantee that all material has been cleansed.