Google has just started accepting requests to remove personal information such as phone numbers and physical and email addresses from search results.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based digital advertising and internet search giant said in a recent blog post that it has expanded the scope of data people can request to be deleted because “with information appearing in unexpected places and used in new ways…our policies and protections must evolve.
Previously, to consider removing phone numbers and addresses, Google required a person to demonstrate that this information was revealed alongside a threat or call for the person’s injury or harassment.
To request removal of information, users should use Google’s online form to submit URLs (web page addresses) showing the content, and the company also requests a search results URL showing the link to the content, as well as screenshots of the content, to facilitate the processing of the request.
“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,” said Michelle Chang, Google’s global policy manager for research, in the blog post.