Google can now remove search results that contain your phone number, address, or email address.

What just happened? You can learn a lot about a person just by typing their name into Google, but Google now allows people to remove more personal information from these results that could be dangerous, including physical addresses, phone numbers, and passwords.

Google has long allowed people to request the removal of certain sensitive personally identifiable content from search results, such as sensitive government ID, images of handwritten signatures, and bank account/credit card information.

Google now has expanded his list include images of identification documents, sensitive login credentials, and personal contact information (physical addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses). In addition, Google will delete inconsistent explicit or intimate personal images, deepfakes, images of minors, and doxxing content that requires explicit or implicit threats or explicit or implicit calls to action for others to harm or harass.

“Research has shown us that there is a large amount of personal information that users consider sensitive,” said Michelle Chang, head of Google’s global search policy. Reuters. “They are increasingly unwilling to tolerate this content online.”

To ask Google to remove something from search results, you must submit URLs containing your personal information and search pages that display links. The company will then decide if it requests removal from search results, but warns that it will attempt to retain anything newsworthy, professionally significant, from the government (part of the public records) or be determined to be of public interest.

Google reminds people that information is only removed from search results, not from the sites it is hosted on, and may be found through other search engines.

Google only approves about 13% of the tens of thousands of takedown requests it receives each year, though it expects the takedown rate to increase given the enhanced capabilities.

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