Google Allows Users to Remove Sensitive Data from Search Results
Google has announced new tools to give users more control over sensitive personal content that appears in search results. The updates include the ability to request the removal of explicit photos and a dashboard to monitor contact information.
New Policy Allows Removal of Personal, Sexually Explicit Images
Google will now allow users to request the removal of personal, sexually explicit photos that appear in Google Search results. Previously, Google only allowed the removal of such images that were shared without consent.
Danny Sullivan, Google’s public liaison for search, said there is one exception to the removal policy – if the user is commercially selling their explicit images. He said the new feature gives users “more control over content about themselves.”
New Dashboard Tracks When Personal Info Appears in Search
Google also launched a new dashboard that notifies users when their personal contact information, like phone numbers, addresses and emails, appear in Search results. The dashboard makes it easier for users to request the removal of that information.
The dashboard will alert users when new results with their contact information appear. Sullivan said the dashboard is initially available in English, with plans to expand to more languages.
Automatic Blurring of Explicit Images
Google also announced it will begin auto-blurring explicit images that appear in Search results for all users globally. The SafeSearch blurring feature is “meant to protect families from inadvertently encountering explicit imagery,” Google said.