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Google to now allow users to request private data to be removed from search results

Google has a new feature that will allow users to request certain private information that could be used for “doxxing” be removed from Google search results.

In “limited cases” Google may remove certain information by request of a user if it falls under one of the following categories:

  • Personal contact information, including your email address, telephone number and physical address. 
  • Content that can lead to identity theft, like credit card and bank account numbers or images of your signature.
  • Details that pose a risk of hacking, like login IDs and passwords.
  • Search results with nonconsensual explicit images or deep-fake pornography.
  • Medical records and other confidential information.
  • Pictures of minors. 
  • “Irrelevant pornography” tied to your name.

In order to get information removed from Google search results, a user must follow the steps outlined on Google’s website, which also explains how to contact the webmaster of another site if the information still exists there.

“Even if we remove content from Google Search, it may still exist on the web. This means someone might still find the content on the page that hosts it, through social media, on other search engines, or other ways. This is why you may wish to contact the site’s webmaster and ask them to remove the content,” reads the Google website.

In a blog post, Google global policy and research lead Michelle Chang wrote, “ the internet is always evolving – with information popping up in unexpected places and being used in new ways — so our policies and protections need to evolve, too.

“Open access to information is a key goal of Search, but so is empowering people with the tools they need to protect themselves and keep their sensitive, personally identifiable information private. That’s why we’re updating our policies to help people take more control of their online presence in Search.”

ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: NBC NEWS

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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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