Google has expanded options for keeping personal information private from online searches.
The company said on Friday it would let people request that more types of content such as personal contact information such as phone numbers, email addresses and physical addresses be removed from search results.
The new policy also allows for the removal of other information that may pose a risk of identity theft, such as confidential login credentials.
The company said in a statement that free access to information is vital, “but so is giving people the tools they need to protect themselves and keep their sensitive and personally identifiable information private.”
“Privacy and online security go hand in hand. And when you use the internet, it’s important to control how your sensitive and personally identifiable information can be found,” he said.
Previously, Google Search allowed users to request removal of highly personal content that could cause direct harm. This includes information deleted due to doxxing and personal details such as bank account or credit card numbers which could be used for fraudulent purposes.
But the increase in information is appearing in unexpected places and being used in new ways, so policies must evolve, the company said.
Having personal contact information freely available online can also pose a threat, and Google said it has also received requests for the ability to remove this content.
He said that when he receives such requests, he will study all content on the web page to avoid limiting the availability of useful information or content on the public record on government or other official websites.
“It’s important to remember that removing content from Google search won’t remove it from the internet, so you can contact the hosting site directly, if you’re comfortable doing so,” did he declare.