Here’s a step by step guide on how to delete personal information from Google Search results.
Google introduced a new privacy feature for consumers at the I/O 2022 developers’ conference, allowing people to erase all personal details from showing on Google Search.
Several of you, including me, occasionally type our names into search engine portals to see what information appears.
However, some users have discovered that Google Search results include individually identifiable information such as bank account numbers, credit card information, sometimes photocopies of handwritten signatures, government-issued ID cards, health records, residential addresses, private login information, and much more.
When people write comments or disclose private information on social networking platforms, some data slips out inadvertently, and if they have made them public, this may emerge in search engine results.
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There are also examples of doxxing, in which harassers leak people’s personal information on public web platforms out of personal animosity. They even go so far as to morph photos and videos before posting them on sexual websites with contact information. They do not even leave the young children undisturbed, posting their photographs on the internet without their permission.[Note: Doxxing is a malicious activity in which a person discloses private or personally identifying information about certain individuals on the internet in order to disgrace them.]
There are also cybercriminals who, when their demands are not met by the victim, usually a corporation or a powerful individual, leak the latter’s personal information online.
As a result, Google has developed a new tool to assist billions of people in protecting their privacy. They only need to fill out an online application to seek the removal of all personal information.
On request for the removal of personal information, Google will assist you with the following:
- Remove non-consensual explicit or intimate personal images from Google
- Remove involuntary fake pornography from Google
- Remove content about users on sites with exploitative removal practices from Google
- Remove select personally identifiable information (PII) or doxxing content from Google Search
- Remove images of minors from Google search results
- Remove irrelevant pornography from Google search results for my name
Here’s how to begin the process of removing personal information:
- Step 1: Go to Google Search Help (here) and click the blue-hued ‘Start removal request’ button.
- Step 2: To the question– What do you want to do? Tick the ‘Remove the information you see in the Google Search
- Step 3: Then, you get a new option– The Information I want removed is– 1) In Google Search and on a website 2) Only on Google Search results.
- Step 4: Selecting the first option opens a new tab— Have you tried contacting the website’s owner? with choices – 1) No, how do I do that? 2) No, I prefer not to. 3) Yes
If you pick the second choice – No, I prefer not to. You have the following options:
- Personal info, like ID numbers and private documents
- Contact information, like address, phone number, or email address
- Nude or sexually explicit items
- Content about me on sites with exploitative removal practices
- Content that should be removed for legal reasons
- Imagery of an individual currently under the age of 18 If you choose b) Contact information, like address, phone number, or email address
- Step 5: Then, you have to fill in a form with details.
To begin, determine if the contact information is being given with the goal of doxxing or not.
- Step 6: Fill out the forms completely. Alternatively, if you are providing the information on behalf of a loved one or a colleague, you must include the person’s name, connection with them, country of residence, and email address for verification and further communication.
- Step 7: In the given box, you have shared the URL links as well as screenshots of the site so that Google can analyze it and, if proven true, delete the content from both the search engine results and the website’s page.
Also, in the designated area, include keywords that can help people find your personal material in search results.
If you have any comments for Google, there is a designated spot directly above the Signature section at the bottom. In the latter, simply select it and click the submit button at the bottom.
Google will send you a confirmation email to the email you gave in the application form. Based on the legitimacy of the request, Google will comply by deleting the personal data from search results as well as websites.
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Google is the problem, not the solution.