Google announced ‘Results About You’ tool which will help users remove personal information from Google search results. The feature empowers users to rightfully remove any identifiable details they are not comfortable sharing with the internet.
Any Personally Identifiable Information (PII), such as name, driver’s license, social security number, etc., and contact information like phone numbers, home addresses, email addresses, etc., can be redacted from the Search page.
This information can be used for identity theft, cyberbullying, doxing, and other criminal activities. With the new update, Google aims to secure its users from unwanted leakage.
What Are The Results About You Feature?
Announced earlier in May this year, the Results About You feature streamlines the process of removing personal contacts and other sensitive information from Google Search results.
The new tool makes it easier for any user to request the removal of the information. Besides that, they can also track the progress of their requests in real time.
The feature is already available to some Search users. It will also be available on the Google app and other platforms.
How To Request A Removal With The Results About You Feature?
When a user finds his PII appearing on a search result, he should click on the three-dot overflow menu in the top right corner.
At present, the request to remove process is quite long. Users have to visit the Google Support Page and fill out a form. They also have to attach the URL of the search result.
Limitations Of The Feature
Users must note that removing the contact information and PII from the search query will not entirely delete the information from the internet.
The removed information will still show up on the website that featured it. Google advises users to directly approach the hosting sites and ask them to take down the information on valid grounds.
Google’s Updated Policy About Private Information
Results About You feature ideally syncs with the updated policies Google published in April 2022.
The policy took note of the potentially harmful impact of the availability of private information online. It also considered the feedback Google users provided, underlining the need for user-generated removal requests.
However, the policy placed Google’s emphasis on reviewing the website’s content where private information has been published.
“Broadly useful” information that appears in news articles and public records on governmental websites or official sources does not come under the ambit of the feature. Users’ removal requests will not be applicable in these cases.
Moreover, to secure private information online, Google will instantly notify users if they appear on Google Search results without their consent. However, this upcoming feature is scheduled to be rolled out early in 2023.
Importance Of The update
Earlier, Google has taken many initiatives to limit the misuse of Search, like providing more options for kids and teens to safeguard their images.
These recent updates point toward the search engine and technology giant’s commitment to ensuring a more secure and wholesome web environment.