People have long been permitted to request that certain sensitive, personally identifiable information be removed from Google''s search results, such as confidential government identification, handwritten signatures, and bank account/credit card details.
Google has expanded its collection to include photographs of ID documents, confidential login credentials, and personal contact information (physical addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses) afterward. Google will remove non-consensual personal photos, Deepfakes, images of minors, and doxxing content, which requires explicit or implicit threats to harm or harass.
"Research has informed us there is a greater amount of personally identifiable information that users consider as sensitive," Michelle Chang, the global policy leader for Google search, told Reuters. "They are increasingly unwilling to tolerate this content online."
The company will then select if it warrants removal from the search results, but warns that it will strive to preserve information that is relevant to the public eye (not included in the public record).
People are reminded that information is only being removed from its search results rather than from the sites that administer it, and that it may be surfaced on other sites.
Google approves only about 13% of the tens of thousands of removal requests it receives each year, although it anticipates the rate to rise as a result of the expanded options.