Google is broadening the types of personal data it will exempt from search results to include information like your physical address, phone number, and passwords. Prior to this, the search engine displayed information that would allow fraudsters steal your identity or money.
Users will now be able to request the tech giant to stop displaying URLs that contain information that could lead to homes or give access to accounts.
Google shared on a blog post that with the internet evolving, displaying information such as phone numbers and home addresses had become dangerous. Below is additional information that will be struck by the search engine:
- Identity cards, passports, PIN numbers
- Bank account information
- Credit card information
- Images of handwritten signatures
- Personal information such as health records
- ID photocopies and images
- Personal contact information such as home or physical address, phone numbers and email addresses.
- Login credentials.
According to Google’s support page, sensitive information including leaked nude images, photoshop images and pornographic fakes will also not be displayed through the search engine.
To submit a strike request, Google says that users should submit the URLs displaying personal information and the search pages that surface the links. Information that is deemed to be of public interest will be retained.
“If we can verify that such links contain personally identifiable information, there is not other content on the webpage that may be of public interest, and we receive a request to remove those URLs, we will do so, assuming they meet our requirements outlined in the help page — whether or not the information is behind a paywall,” Google spokesperson Ned Adriance told The Verge.
Google however clarifies that striking off the information from search results does not wipe it off the internet. The information will still be available if someone visits the website or URL directly.
The tech giant announced a similar feature to protect minors recently. The tool allows users under the age of 18 and their parents to request to have their photos removed from the images tab or as thumbnails during a search enquiry.