Google has introduced a new option for those who do not want their phone number, email address, street address, or other personal information to be publicly available online: Individuals can request that their contact information be removed from search results.
“The availability of personal contact information online may be disorienting,” Michelle Chang, Google’s global policy head for search, said in announcing the move earlier this month. According to her, the data might result in “unwanted direct touch or perhaps bodily injury.”
The new policy significantly lowers the threshold for Google to remove data from search results. While the business previously promised to wipe personal and financial information in the event of an actual or perceived threat — such as doxxing or identity theft — it now claims that individuals can request that their information be deleted even if there is no evident risk.
You may submit a request to have your contact information removed from search results.
Anyone interested in submitting a request for removal can do so using a dedicated web form that guides people through the procedure. It requests information such as the URL of any webpages that display your personal information, as well as the search terms and URL of the Google search that led you to those pages. Additionally, it suggests providing screenshots.
“It’s critical to realise that removing information from Google Search does not mean that it has been removed off the internet, which is why you may desire to contact the hosting site directly if you feel safe doing so,” Chang added.
Even with the revisions, Google may decline a removal request for a variety of reasons. They are primarily concerned with information deemed “generally beneficial” or part of the public record, such as noteworthy data or content uploaded to government websites or other official channels.
Along with your contact information, you may request that Google delete results that contain login passwords and other sensitive information.