Removing your phone number or postal address from Google search results to protect yourself from possible malicious acts will now be possible. The search engine announced, on Wednesday April 27, to broaden its policy of dereferencing of personal data subject to doxxing. This malicious practice consists of seeking personal information about others and then publishing it on the Internet with the aim of harming them.
What personal data can Google delete?
Until now, it was already possible to request, under certain conditions, the deletion of certain sensitive personal data:
- their official identification numbers (social security number);
- their bank details (bank account and credit card number);
- images of handwritten signatures;
- images of identity documents;
- sensitive and restricted official documents, such as medical records.
From now on, Internet users can also request the removal of pages containing the following personal information:
- telephone number;
- mail address ;
- address ;
- confidential login credentials.
What are the conditions for requesting removal of content?
For the deletion request to be accepted, the Internet user must be the subject of:
- explicit or implicit threats;
- or that the information concerning him is used by third parties in the context of a harassment campaign.
How do I request deletion?
The request for dereferencing of links that may lead to personal information is made using a form. You or your legal representative will be required to provide the address of the site where the personal information is posted, as well as the URLs of the Google search results pages that display it.
Once the request has been submitted, you will receive an automatic confirmation by email. Your request is then reviewed. If necessary, additional information may be requested.
If Google determines that the URL links submitted fall within the scope of its policies, they will be removed from all search queries or removed only from search results that include your name or other identifier provided. But beware, the delisting of content on Google does not mean that it will no longer be on the Internet. It may remain accessible on the page that hosts it, social networks, other search engines or by other means.
If, on the other hand, Google considers that the request does not meet the removal requirements, it will be refused. ” We will continue to evaluate all content on the relevant page [par la demande de retrait] to ensure that we will not limit the provision of information which may be useful, for example, in press articlessays Michelle Chang. We will also assess whether such content appears in public documents, government sites or other official sources. If so, we will not proceed with the withdrawal”.