The Internet, as you know, remembers everything. And if some information is on the Internet, it becomes very difficult to remove it from there. But Google is ready to help with this – the company is expanding the list of personal data that can be removed from search results at the request of the owner. Previously, Google only removed information that could be used for financial fraud: bank card numbers, photo documents, personal signatures, etc. Now, an even wider range of data can be cleaned up.
List of what can be removed from the search:
- contact information, such as an address, telephone number, or email address;
- confidential government-issued identification numbers;
- bank account numbers;
- credit card numbers;
- image of handwritten signatures;
- image of identity documents;
- personal, confidential and official records such as medical records;
- personal contact information (physical addresses, phone numbers and email addresses);
- confidential credentials.
Upon request, Google can also remove intimate images, pornographic deepfakes, or photoshop that uses human likeness.
How do I remove my data from Google search?
- Submit a request to delete personal information through this form .
- Indicate where exactly the information should be removed: only in search or on websites too.
- Google will offer two options: removing the entire web page from search, or removing images posted on it.
- To delete a web page, you must specify its URL.
- To delete an image, you first have to search for the image in Google Images, then copy the URL and add it to the query as well.
If you select “Remove information in search results or on the website” and when asked if you contacted the site’s webmaster, answer “No. How do I do this?”, Google will provide more detailed instructions.
If you choose other answer options (“Yes” or “No, I don’t want to do this”), you will then need to specify what information should be deleted. After that, fill in the request fields, which are generated depending on the previous response.
When you submit your request, you will receive an automatic confirmation email. The request will be considered and a notification with the result will be sent to the mail. The content will either be removed or an explanation will be sent to explain why the request does not meet the requirements.
Removal may be refused if the moderators consider that the information is posted on the network legally, is socially significant, important from a professional point of view, or is a news story. But even with all the caveats, Google’s initiative is definitely useful – it will hit sites with “breakthroughs” of phone numbers and personal data trafficking.