Google is developing a tool that makes it easy to erase search results that include your address, phone number, and other personally identifying information. It debuted the “results about you” feature in May at I/O 2022, describing it as a method to “let you quickly select whether your personally-identifiable information may be found in Search results.”
How to request that Google erase personal information
Google is now making it easy to prevent your personal information from appearing in internet search results – and it only took hundreds of thousands of requests over nearly a decade.
The Alphabet-owned internet search engine recently implemented new regulations and tools that allow users to swiftly and easily request the removal of personal data from search results, such as a phone number, email address, or even a physical location. Previously, users had to present proof of possible harm, such as doxxing or identity theft, to ask Google to delete their personal information from search results.
You may now have your information deleted from those results for any reason with the press of a button.
The request may then be tracked under a new menu item in the Google app called “Results about you,” which can be accessed by touching your user profile at the top right. You may then track the status of requests using the criteria “All requests,” “In process,” and “Approved.”
The same website also allows you to create a new request, complete with a “Why do you want to delete this result?” step. There are options such as “It reveals my personal contact information,” “It shows my contact information with the purpose to damage me,” “It shows additional personal information,” “It includes unlawful information,” and “It’s obsolete.” However, Google has already said that not all requests would be granted:
When we receive removal requests, we will assess all material on the web page to verify that we are not limiting the availability of other information that is generally beneficial, such as news items. Of course, deleting contact information from Google Search does not remove it off the web, so you may want to contact the hosting site directly if you feel comfortable doing so.
The new capability has only been made available to a small number of users in the United States and Europe, according to 9to5. Google notes (I’m in the Google app beta and have yet to see it in France). In the meanwhile, you can use a removal request to remove additional personally identifying information or doxxing items from Google Search.