Google Rolls Out Privacy Tool to Remove Personal Data from Search: Report
Google is reportedly rolling out a privacy tool to help users request the search giant to remove results that contain personal identifiable information (PII) and contact details. The feature was first announced at Google I/O in May. A new ‘Results About You’ section on the Google app will now allow users ask the company to remove search results that contain their phone number, home address, email, or other PII. The feature can be accessed by tapping on the profile image on the Google app, or by clicking the three-dot overflow menu that appears in the top-right corner of any search result.
The rollout of the feature was spotted by 9to5Mac, and users in Europe and the US are receiving to the new ‘Results About You’ tool. Users can track their requests from the privacy tool in an “All Requests” feed, where they may review the status as “In progress” or “Approved”. While requesting removal of information from results, Google requests the user to reveal why they would like to have the result removed through answer options that include: It shows my personal contact info, it shows my contact into with an intent to harm me, it shows other personal info, it contains illegal info, or it’s outdated.
Back in April, Google had updated its policies to include the request to remove personal information like a user’s phone number, email address, or physical address, aside from information like bank accounts or credit card numbers that could be used for financial fraud.
As per the report, the ‘Results About You’ privacy tool has been spotted in Europe and the US, and could be rolled out to more users in the future.
The company had previously stated that all removal requests will be carefully evaluated to avoid removing relevant and useful information like news articles, or public records on the sites of government or official sources.
According to the Google’s removal policies, users can request removal of confidential information including government identification (ID) numbers, like US Social Security Number, Argentine Single Tax Identification Number, Brazil Cadastro de pessoas Físicas, Korea Resident Registration Number, or China Resident Identity Card, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, Images of handwritten signatures, Images of ID documents, highly personal, restricted, and official records, like medical records, personal contact information (physical addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses) and, confidential login credentials.