Google is taking another step to remove users’ private information from Internet searches.
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The tech giant has begun allowing users to request that their phone numbers, physical addresses and email addresses be removed from search results, CBS News reported.
The “Today” show reported that people under the age of 18, or their parent or guardian, can request that their images be removed from Google search results.
Previously, Google allowed social security numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, signatures, and medical records to be deleted.
The added privacy push will protect users from “unwanted direct contact or even personal harm,” Google said in a blog post announcing the new initiative.
The Federal Trade Commission said consumers lost $5.8 billion in scams last year, up 70% from 2020.
Most of the scams happen online, but also through phone solicitations and identity theft, CBS News reported.
So how can you start the process to have your information removed from search results?
First, visit the Google page that is set up to delete personal information. Then follow the instructions by making the selections that apply to your request.
PCMag reported that you can submit up to 1,000 URLs on the form.
Once you are done with the form and have submitted it, you will receive an automated email confirming that the request has been made.
You may receive follow-up emails for additional information. Once everything is processed, you will be notified if an action is taken, “Today” reported.
Your request may be denied.
Google said the company will “evaluate all content on the web page” to ensure it does “not limit the availability of other widely useful information, such as in news articles.”
Another reason the information won’t be deleted is if it’s a public record on government or official sources, “Today” reported.
Keep in mind that the information will still be on the hosting website’s servers, it just won’t show up in Google search if the request is accepted, PCMag reported.
The post suggests contacting specific web pages to purge information first.
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