Google will now remove your phone number and other information from search results. Heres how to do it. 2022-04-28 10:16:00

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Google now allows people to remove personal contact information — phone numbers, physical addresses, and email addresses — from search results. On Wednesday, the Alphabet-owned search giant said it was making the change to protect users from “unwanted direct contact or even physical harm.”

Google said it previously allowed people to request removal of some specific types of information, but the new policy represents a broader attempt to help protect users’ personal data. Before the new policy, people could request that more specific information, such as bank account numbers or credit card numbers, be removed.

The change comes amid a surge in online fraud. Federal Trade Commission Reports Consumers lost $5.8 billion to scammers last year, an increase of 70% from the previous year. Much of this fraud is committed through online scams, such as Romance monumentas well as through phone requests and identity theft.

“[T]The Internet is always evolving — with information emerging in unexpected places and used in new ways — so our policies and safeguards must also evolve,” said Michelle Chang, global policy lead for Google search, at Blog post about the new policy.

Google has indicated that removing the information can also protect people from vetting, that is, when personal information such as emails or addresses is shared publicly with malicious intent, such as encouraging online harassment.

Here’s how to remove your personal information from Google searches.

What will Google remove from search results?

Google said it will now remove personal contact information from search results, including your phone number, email address, or physical address.

Previously, the company only allowed people to request that more confidential personal data, such as Social Security numbers, bank and credit card account numbers, photos of personal signatures, and medical records, be removed.

How do I ask Google to remove my phone number and other personal information?

visit this google site to start the process. The page will ask you to provide website addresses that contain the information you want to remove from Google’s search results.

What happens after I ask Google to remove my information?

Google says you’ll get an automated response confirming that it has received your request. The search platform will then review the request and may request more information. For example, if the request is missing a web address, it will ask you to fix that and resubmit the application.

Then, Google will let you know if you take action. For example, it can remove URLs from all search queries, or it can remove them from specific queries that include your name or other personal data.

Will Google give the green light to all requests?

no. Google said it will evaluate all requests to ensure it doesn’t broadly restrict useful content, such as news articles. It will also check if the content is part of the public record, such as government files. In this case, Google also says that it will not remove the data from search results.

If Google removes my personal data, will it disappear from the Internet?

No, Google warns that removing content from its search result does not mean it is far from the wider Internet. To ensure all information is erased, you will also need to contact any hosting site where your information appears and ask that company to remove it.

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