How to delete personal information from Google Search

How to delete personal information from Google Search results

At the I/O 2022 developers' conclave, California-based tech giant Google announced a new privacy tool for users to enable them to delete all personal information from appearing on Google Search.

Many of you, including me once in a while, out of curiosity type our name on search engine platforms, to see what data pops up on the screen. For me, it showed just the articles published in my name and links to my professional profile on LinkedIn and other websites, but thankfully, none of the pages showed critical information such as my personal email ID or phone number.

But, for some, it has come to light that Google  Search results have shown personally identifiable data in addition to bank account details, credit card numbers, even photocopies of handwritten signatures, government-issued ID cards, medical records, residential addresses, confidential login details, and more.

Some information gets out unintentionally as people make comments or share personal information on social media platforms and if they had enabled them public, it may also appear on search engine results. 

Also, there are cases of doxxing, wherein stalkers, intentionally dump people's information on public online platforms out of personal enmity. They even go to an extent of morphing pictures, and videos and putting them on adult websites with contact details. They don't even leave the small children too, and post their images online without consent.

[Note: Doxxing is a malicious activity of a person who publishes private or personally identifying information of particular individuals, to bring shame to them on the internet]

And, there are cybercriminals, who don't get their demand met by the victim, mostly corporate companies or an influential person, who dump the latters' personal details online.

So, Google has come up with a new tool to help billions of users to protect their privacy. They just have to submit a request by filling out an online form to clear all personal details.

Here's the list of things Google will help you on request for the removal of personal details:
1) Remove non-consensual explicit or intimate personal images from Google
2) Remove involuntary fake pornography from Google
3) Remove content about users on sites with exploitative removal practices from Google
4) Remove select personally identifiable information (PII) or doxxing content from Google Search
5) Remove images of minors from Google search results
6) Remove irrelevant pornography from Google search results for my name


Google Search Help page (screen-grab)

Here's how to start the process of the removal of personal details:
Step 1: Go to the Google Search Help page (here) and tap on 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.


Google's application form for users' requests for the removal of personal details (screen-shot)

Step 4: If you choose the first option, another tab opens-- Have you contacted the site's website owner? with options- 1) No, how do I do that? 2) No, I prefer not to. 3) Yes


Google's application form for users' requests for the removal of personal details (screen-shot)

If you choose the second option-- No, I prefer not to. You get the following option:

a) Personal info, like ID numbers and private documents
b) Contact information, like address, phone number, or email address
c) Nude or sexually explicit items
d) Content about me on sites with exploitative removal practices
e) Content that should be removed for legal reasons
f) 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.

First, you have to confirm whether the contact info is being shared with doxxing intent or not


Google's application form for users' requests for the removal of personal details (screen-shot)

Step 6: Fill in the applications with full names. Or, if you are submitting the details on behalf of your loved one or a colleague, you have to mention the name and also the relationship with the person, country of residence, and email ID for confirmation and for future communication purposes


Google's application form for users' requests for the removal of personal details (screen-shot)

Step 7: You have shared the URL links along with the screenshots of the page in the provided box, so Google can review it and if found true, it will remove the content from both the search results and also from the website's page


Google's application form for users' requests to the removal of personal details (screen-shot)

Also, in the allotted box, share keywords, that surface your personal content in Search results.

If there any feedback you like to send to Google, there is one allocated space at the bottom, just above the Signature section. And in the latter, just tick it on and press the submit button at the base.


Google's application form for users' requests for the removal of personal details (screen-shot)

Google will send a confirmation notice to your registered email ID provided in the application form above. Based on the authenticity of the request, Google will oblige by removing the private information from appearing on the search results and also websites as well.

Get the latest news on new launches, gadget reviews, apps, cybersecurity, and more on personal technology only on DH Tech.

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