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How to Remove Personal Data from Google?

How to Remove Personal Data from Google?
Steven Maddocks

3 min

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How to Remove Personal Data from Google

Google has relaxed its grip on the types it will remove from search result pages. You can now ask for specific content to be removed from search results.

While Google previously took down requests for doxing and fraud, it has removed a much broader range of personally identifiable information from its search result pages.

This includes:

  • Phone numbers
  • Email addresses
  • Street addresses
  • ID numbers
  • Your bank account or credit cards number
  • Handwritten signatures
  • Medical documents
  • Confidential login credentials

If any of the information about you listed above is posted online by others, Google may use that information for its purposes.

How to Remove Personal Data from Google

Google recently updated its guidelines for removing sensitive data from search results. If you're concerned about having your name, address, phone number, email address, etc., show up in search results, there are several steps you can take to help protect yourself.

  1. Log into your Google account.
  2. Under "Your Content," choose the option to "Remove my content."
  3. Choose what types of content you want to remove.
  4. Scroll down and click "Submit."
  5. Wait while Google reviews your request.
  6. Once approved, you'll receive an email informing you that your content has been successfully removed.

How Does Google Review Your Request?

Google decides what content needs to be removed based on several factors, including whether the request is valid, how long you've had the content up, and the type of content. You'll want to make sure that your content meets all of the following criteria:

  1. Is your content accurate and informative?
  2. Is it relevant to people searching for the topic?
  3. Has it been posted within the last three months?
  4. Is there anything else that we should know about the content?
  5. Can you provide evidence that proves the content is illegal or violates our policies?
  6. Do you have permission to post the content?

If your content falls into any of the categories listed above, it won't be removed by Google.

What to do if Google Denies Your Request

If Google denies your requests, there are several ways to improve your search result page. Here are some examples:

  • They might listen and comply if you ask the site owner to take down the post.
  • Request the owner to add a noindex tag, so the site doesn't appear in searches. It usually takes several weeks for the site to be taken down completely.
  • Instead of having your business listed on the page, request that they replace the word "manufacturer" with something vague, like "local."
  • If the site's owners refuse to do anything about their bad reviews, then you can suppress them from appearing at all. You can learn more about suppressing reviews here.

Final thoughts

Google has announced changes to how it handles requests to take down personal data from its search results. The update applies to people and businesses and allows individuals to make requests without proof of identity. Businesses must provide evidence of ownership, including a valid tax ID number.

The change follows a recent court ruling against a man who had asked Google to remove his name from search results because he claimed it was defamatory. This week, the European Court of Justice ruled that Google did not violate the individual's privacy by displaying his name alongside a link to a Wikipedia article about him.

In addition to removing personal information from search results, Google says it will now allow people to ask for the removal of specific types of information such as phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses. However, these requests will require proof of identity, and Google notes that it will continue to display some types of personal information even if it receives a removal request.

For example, Google will not remove the names of deceased people or people convicted of crimes.

However, Google does say it will consider taking down personal information related to financial transactions, health records, educational institutions, government agencies, and political parties.

This includes credit card purchases, medical diagnoses, school grades, employment history, and criminal convictions.

Updated

November 19, 2022

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