Google throws out “results about you” to remove information

At I/O 2022 in May, Google announced a new tool to simplify the process of removing search results containing your contact and other personally identifiable information (PII), which is now beginning to be published.

For some today, opening the Google Android app and tapping on your profile avatar in the top-right corner reveals a new item in the Results About You menu. This takes users to a page that explains how they can ask Google to remove search results that contain a phone number, home address, email, or other personally identifiable information.

If you find something while browsing, click on the full three-dot menu that appears in the top-right corner of each result. A panel about this current score opens with the new “Remove Score” option appearing at the bottom of the screen.

After following this process, you can monitor the progress of the removal process from the results related to you. In addition to the “All requests” feed, you have filters such as “In Progress” and “Approved”. This page also allows you to submit a new application with step-by-step instructions that include the question “Why would you like to remove this score?” a step. Options include:

  • Shows my personal contact information
  • It shows me calling with intent to harm me
  • Shows other personal information
  • Contains illegal information
  • It’s outdated

Coming back to I/O, Google said it will be available in the coming months. It’s now showing up to first users this evening with reports in Europe and the US, but this hasn’t been widely publicized yet. The company previously explained how:

It is important to note that when we receive removal requests, we will evaluate all content on the web page to ensure that we do not limit the wide availability of other useful information, for example in news articles. Of course, removing contact information from a Google search does not remove it from the web, which is why you may want to contact the hosting site directly, if you are comfortable doing so.

You can also initiate a removal request from this page, which provides full details of Google’s removal policies for personal information.

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