Applications and services often need certain information to work properly. For example, the navigation app needs to know your exact location to provide driving directions. Tap or click here to see how apps look wherever you go, unless you change this setting.

Google is one of the most data-hungry big technology companies. Although most of your data points are retained, there may be other cases where Google Search reveals a little more than you’d like. Fortunately, the company facilitates the protection of personal information.

Keep reading if you want to stop Google from showing specific search results to you.

Here is the background

Google is aware that not everyone is excited when a photo of them is displayed, when people search for their name. Potential employers may come across photos of university dormitories or fake images that put you in a compromising situation.

You can contact the owner of the website where the images are hosted and ask them to remove them. But this is not always possible, especially when it comes to a global social media platform such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

To give you some control over your photos and personal information, Google has created a tool that lets you ask search results to omit specific details. The most common results you can remove are personal images, fake public photos, personal information or images of minors.

Being able to remove inappropriate photos from Google search results is a good step in protecting your privacy. But Google has taken it one step further and expanded the types of data you can include in a removal request.

What can you do about it

Google explains in a blog post that the internet is constantly evolving and your data can be seen through the websites you least expect. Under the revised Privacy Policy, you may request that Google no longer display:

  • Confidential Government Identification (ID), such as your social security number
  • Bank account numbers
  • Credit card numbers
  • Images of handwritten signatures
  • Images of identity documents
  • Highly personal, limited and official records, such as medical records
  • Personal contact information (physical addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses)
  • Confidential login credentials

If you would like to request removal with Google:

Here’s what happens after you apply:

  • You will receive an automatic confirmation email. This confirms that Google has received the request.
  • Google is reviewing your request. Each request is assessed on specific factors.
  • Google collects more information as needed. In some cases, Google may ask you for more information. If the request does not have enough evaluation information, such as missing URLs, it will share specific instructions and ask you to resubmit the request.
  • You receive a notification for each action taken.
    • If the URLs submitted are within the scope of Google’s policies, the URLs will be removed for all queries, or will be removed only from search results that include the name of the complainant or other identifiers provided, such as aliases.
    • If the application does not meet the removal requirements, Google will include a brief explanation. If your application is rejected and you later have additional material to support your case, you can resubmit your application.

This is a welcome new feature that also raises questions like why did it take so long?

Keep reading

Google prohibits this popular type of Play Store application

This email says that your Google Account will be marked inactive – is it genuine?

Privacy fix: How to remove your address and phone number from Google search results

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