April 21, 2024

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Google may now remove search results you like

Google may now remove search results you like

Google says it is expanding the types of personal information it will remove from search results to cover things like physical address, phone number, and passwords. Before now, the feature covered information that would allow someone to steal your identity or money — now, you can ask Google to stop showing certain URLs that point to information that could lead someone to your home or give them access to your accounts.

to me Blog postGoogle is giving people new choices because “the Internet is always evolving” and giving its search engine your phone number or home address can be annoying and dangerous. Here is a list of the types of information that Google may remove, with the new additions in bold (h/t to the Wayback Machine for Make the old list accessible):

  • Secret Government Identification Numbers (IDs) such as US Social Security Number, Argentine Individual Tax Identification Number, etc.
  • Bank account numbers
  • Credit card numbers
  • Handwritten signatures
  • Photo ID documents
  • Very personal, restricted, and official records, such as medical records (used to read “confidential personal medical records”)
  • Personal contact information (physical addresses, phone numbers, email addresses)
  • Secret login credentials

according to support pageGoogle will also remove things like “obscene or intimate non-consensual selfies,” porn deepfakes or Photoshops that show your likeness, or links to sites with “exploitative removal practices.”

Placing the request involves giving Google a list of URLs that link to personal information, as well as the search pages displaying those links. After submitting the request, Google will evaluate it. The FAQ says it tries to “maintain access to information if content is determined to be of public interest”, as in the case of content that is “publishable”, “professional-related” or has come from the government. If Google decides that links should be removed, it says either they won’t show for them Which The search query or it will not appear for searches that include your name.

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It appears that Google applies a relatively high standard of what qualifies as personally identifiable information, which makes it a little different from The systems it had to implement In places like the European Union to comply with the so-called rules of the right to be forgotten. These laws allow people to request removal of links they consider to be inappropriate or irrelevant, which is not the case here – the rules Google added today only cover links to highly sensitive information.

If you’ve ever looked up someone’s phone number, you may have ended up on a site that is explicitly selling people’s information, promising to give it to you if you signed up. Google spokesperson, Ned Adrians, said when asked if the new policy will apply to these types of sites the edge That: “If we can verify that these links contain personally identifiable information, there is no other content on the webpage that may be of general interest, and we receive a request to remove these URLs, we will, assuming they meet our requirements set out on the help page – whether It was the information behind the paywall or not, he said in an email.

This page was easy to access from the Google link and it promises to give my phone number and address. If it meets Google’s requirements, it matters.

Most importantly, as Google notes on His support page And in the blog post, removing information from a Google search does not clear it from the Internet. If, for example, you ask Google to delete a forum post that contains your address, anyone who goes to that forum will be able to see it; The post should not appear if someone searches for “[your name] Home Address.”

Update April 27 5:05 PM ET: Statement added by Google on paywall-protected websites.