How to request that Google remove personal information from search results

Google is expanding the type of personally identifiable information that users can request to be removed from search results.

It now includes personal contact information as well as other sensitive information that may pose a risk to the user. We tell you what this Google policy update is all about.

If you want to remove some personal information from a website, and the owner refuses to do so, you can resort to one of the options provided by Google for certain special cases.

Any user can ask Google to remove certain personal information from search results if it would cause specific harm. For example, information about bank accounts or credit card numbers can be removed to prevent financial fraud, identity theft, and so on.

However, the type of personally identifiable information, which is included in this Google policy, does not cover all additional information that may contribute to being a victim of doxing or risk of identity theft.

A situation that the Google team is updating to include additional personal information within the removal request. This includes personal contact information such as a physical address, a phone number, an email address, among others:

Google may remove personally identifiable information (PII) that has potential to create significant risks of identity theft, financial fraud, harmful direct contact, or other specific harms. This includes doxxing, which is when your contact info is shared in a malicious way.

When a user submits a request to remove this type of personal data, Google initiates an evaluation process, if their request meets all the requirements. One detail to keep in mind is that Google does not remove the information from the Internet or delete it from the website, but prevents it from appearing in search results.

Depending on the result of the evaluation, the URL (where the personal data appears) may no longer be displayed for any type of query. For example, if it concerns bank accounts or credit card numbers.

Or the URL may be removed from the search results only when a query is made using the user’s name or similar identifying information. This may happen, for example, if the rest of the web page displays content of public interest.

You can see in detail the whole process and how to make this request in the Google Help Center.

 

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