Google has started rolling out a new feature that should help users strengthen their online privacy (opens in new tab) by helping remove personally identifiable information (PII) from search engine results pages.
After opening the Google app on Android devices some users can tap on their profile picture in the top right corner of the screen. There, they will find a new menu item, called “Results about you”. Tapping on that menu item brings them to a new page that explains how they can ask Google to remove personally identifiable information (opens in new tab) from search results. That data includes the likes of phone numbers, postal addresses, email addresses, and more.
Users that find PII can now click on the three dots menu, present in the upper right-hand corner of each search result. There, they will find a new “Remove result” tool. If they choose to remove it, they’ll need to add a reason, such as “it shows my personal contact info”, “it contains illegal info”, or “it’s outdated”.
Users can then track Google as it progresses with the removal. Their requests will be split into three categories: “All requests”, “In progress,” and “Approved”.
Google first announced the new tool in May 2022 during its I/O 2022 conference, where it said it would be launching “in the coming months”, and now it started rolling out for some users in Europe, and the United States.
It also explained how it chooses which requests to grant, and which to deny: “It’s important to note that when we receive removal requests, we will evaluate all content on the web page to ensure that we’re not limiting the availability of other information that is broadly useful, for instance in news articles. And of course, removing contact information from Google Search doesn’t remove it from the web, which is why you may wish to contact the hosting site directly, if you’re comfortable doing so.”
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Via: 9to5Google (opens in new tab)