It can be unsettling and perplexing to find your personal information in Google search results. In addition to trying to figure out how the information got there, you also need to figure out how to get rid of it as soon as possible to prevent strange things from happening. Google is introducing a solution that will significantly simplify the second part of the conundrum.
The new “Results about you” menu option for the search engine has one goal: to make it simple and quick to remove personal information. The innovation, which was first revealed at I/O 2022 in May but only launched this week, is another step in Google’s bigger initiative to help consumers protect their personally identifiable information (PII).
The menu feature seems to be progressively spreading out, beginning with Android users. If your search experience has been improved, you will see a new option called “Remove result” when you click the three dots menu button next to a search result. By using this option, you can direct Google in terms of what PII is disclosed in the outcome. Additionally, a new website called “Take control of results about you” has been added where you can monitor your removal requests and discover additional information about discovering your own PII in search results.
The business can consider the takedown request more swiftly if a result includes at least one form of contact information, according to Google’s new removal wizard. Having previously worked for the trust and safety teams at a few tech businesses, I’m speculating that a small staff of report slingers will be devoted to the “Results about you” section, or at the at least, that these reports will be moved to the front of the queue. However, Google did mention that there are several circumstances in which it will maintain results as public. The new homepage states that when removal requests are made, “it’s crucial to highlight that we will assess all content on the web page to ensure that we’re not limiting the availability of other information that is broadly beneficial, for example in news items.”
Even if a request is granted and a PII-containing outcome is removed, this does not imply that your data has been completely removed from the internet. Google recommends going to the host site and requesting a takedown there directly when you’re comfortable doing so.