Google is finally allowing its users to remove personal information from online search results, meeting a request made by hundreds of thousands for years.
The global search engine recently introduced new policies and tools to allow users to remove personal data -- such as phone numbers, email and physical addresses -- from its search results after years of complaints of users being susceptible to internet threats like identity theft or doxxing.
Google users previously had to show evidence of potential harm in order to have their personal information removed from search results, but now can get their information removed for any reason by simply clicking a button.
“For many people, a key element of feeling safer and more private online is having greater control over where their sensitive, personally-identifiable information can be found,” Danielle Romain, Google’s vice president of trust, wrote in a company blog post shared last Wednesday (May 11).
Google may still not grant approval to every request as some users' personal data from its search results could be considered newsworthy if it appears in a news article, on a government website or some other official source, the company confirmed.
“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,” the company wrote in Wednesday's post.
Anyone wanting to submit a removal request can do so by filling out an online form here.