Users can now request the removal of additional sorts of information included in Search results, such as personal contact information such as a phone number, email address, or physical address, under this new policy update. Additional information that may constitute a danger of identity theft, such as secret log-in credentials, can also be removed from search results under the policy.
As personal contact information is widely available online, it can be misused in hazardous ways, such as unwanted direct contact or even physical violence. People have also told us that in some circumstances, they would appreciate the opportunity to delete this type of material from Search.
“When we receive removal requests, we'll review all content on the page to make sure we're not obstructing access to other information that's widely helpful, such as news items. We'll also see if the content appears on government or official source websites as part of the public record. We will not undertake removals in such instances.”, said Michelle Chang, Global Policy Lead for Search.
According to Google, removing anything from Google Search will not remove it from the internet, instead, users should contact the hosting site directly.
“We're continuously searching for innovative ways to guarantee that our policies and built-in safeguards are current and simple to use. In addition to this change, we recently implemented a new policy that allows anyone under the age of 18 (or their parent or guardian) to request that their photos be removed from Google Search results.”, Chang added.
Google claimed that an important balance to achieve is maximizing access to information while enabling people to govern their sensitive, personally identifiable information. These modifications, to them, are an essential step toward achieving that aim and providing individuals with the tools they need to defend their online safety and privacy.