GOOGLE is making it easier to purge sensitive information about you from search results.
The U.S. tech titan said Wednesday that users can now ask to have their addresses and phone numbers removed from results.
Email contacts and other data can also be stripped from results. The move is aimed at protecting people’s privacy and safety online.
Google has for years fielded appeals to wipe personal information from search results.
This includes bank account details or credit card numbers that crooks could use for financial fraud.
The new, expanded policy follows years of pressure from users to allow the removal of other personally identifiable data from the web.
“The availability of personal contact information online can be jarring,” Google wrote in a blog post about the change.
“It can be used in harmful ways, including for unwanted direct contact or even physical harm.
“And people have given us feedback that they would like the ability to remove this type of information from Search in some cases.”
Google accepts requests to remove content through its website. It takes a few days to process a request.
The firm said that it will evaluate all of the content on a page to ensure that it is not limiting the availability of helpful information.
This could apply, for instance, if the information appears in a news article.
The firm said it will also not remove contact information that’s part of public record on government websites or official sources.
While information can be removed from search results, it needs to be taken down from the original website to be wiped from the internet.
“It’s important to remember that removing content from Google Search won’t remove it from the internet,” Google said.
The firm added that you may wish to contact the hosting site directly to get your information removed at source.
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