Google has announced additional options for removing personal information from their search results. The tech giant stated that "Open access to information is a key goal of Search, but so is empowering people with the tools they need to protect themselves and keep their sensitive, personally identifiable information private," in a press release on their website.
It is currently very easy to look someone up, and oftentimes, be able to find their entire work history, address, and phone number. Various websites and data sellers offer "complete background checks" and other such services that put your personal information out there to whoever wants to pay. Sometimes, these sites will list your name, along with the names of your family members or roommates.
"The internet is always evolving – with information popping up in unexpected places and being used in new ways — so our policies and protections need to evolve, too," Google said.
In their Help Center, Google now lists a page called "Remove Select Personally Identifiable Info (PII) or doxxing content from Google Search." While before, Google would remove information if it included credit card numbers, social security numbers, or ID documents, now it has added personal contact information.
Of course, every case comes down to an evaluation by the company of whether or not the information accessed could hurt or put someone in danger. Still, it is an important step forward for Google.