Google allows users to remove personal information from search results

(KTLA) – Google is giving users a new option to remove their personal information from search results.

In a Wednesday blog postthe company confirmed that it had updated its policies regarding the removal of personal content in response to the constantly “changing” internet.

Free access to information is the key goal of search, Google acknowledged, but not where it can cause potential harm, the company said.

“The availability of personal contact information online can be shocking – and it can be used in harmful ways, including for unwanted direct contact or even physical harm,” Google wrote. “And people have given us feedback that they would like to be able to remove that kind of information from search in some cases.”

Under the new policy, users can request that their phone number, email address, or physical address be removed from search results. This can be particularly important when the information is intentionally shared by a third party with malicious intent, otherwise known as doxxing.

Google notes, however, that it can only remove such personal content from its search results, not the entire internet. Those who wish to have their personal information removed from a certain platform or website should always contact that hosting service directly.

Additionally, Google said it will not remove information from public records, including government or official sources.

Google had previously allowed users to request removal of other types of sensitive information from search, including banking information or social security numbers. With this latest update, Google hopes to give users more “tools they need to protect their online security and privacy,” according to the blog.

Users can submit a deletion request that Google rates on its support site.

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