Google plans to notify you if search results show your personal information

Google will launch a new feature early next year alerting users if new results appear with personally identifiable information, Google Search public liaison Danny Sullivan has announced.

The notification system will be opt-in, and Google said it would help people to quickly request the removal of personal information from Google Search results.

The feature forms part of Google’s “results about you” tool, which the company started rolling out to Android smartphones earlier this month.

“The tool also makes it easier to find info about requesting removals for other types of personal information, such as the sharing of non-consensual explicit images, content on sites with exploitive removal practices and more,” Google said.

However, it is important to note that Google can only remove the information from its search results, not from the website’s content itself. Essentially, it will just be harder to find.

To check if you can access the “results about you” tool, open the Google app and tap your profile icon in the top-right corner.

If available, you should see the option below the “Delete last 15 minutes” of your search history button.

Selecting “results about you” will let you request that Google remove Search results containing information like your phone number, home address, or email.

You can then select the three-dot overflow menu at the top right of the listed results, which will bring up an “About this result” page and display a “Remove result” button.

You can track the removal process on the “Results about you” dashboard.

You can also submit a new removal request from the dashboard with simple step-by-step instructions, including Google asking why you want a result removed.

The options include it showing personal contact or illegal information. It also allows removal requests for outdated information.

Now read: Facebook owner sued for side-stepping Apple privacy features

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Google plans to notify you if search results show your personal information