In a bid to enhance user control over personal information in search results, Google has announced the introduction of new tools that bolster online privacy. Through its latest blog post, the search giant revealed updates to its “results about you” feature, offering users the ability to remove search results containing sensitive details like phone numbers, home addresses, or email addresses, thereby adding an additional layer of protection.
The “results about you” tool was initially launched last year, enabling users to request the removal of search results that disclose their personal information. Now, Google has introduced an improved dashboard that notifies users when such information surfaces in search results. With a few taps, users can promptly request Google to take down the exposed data, providing proactive measures to safeguard their privacy.
Building on the success of the Google One feature introduced earlier in the year, which detects potential data breaches, the “results about you” tool further bolsters online security by actively searching and eliminating users’ personal information from search results.
Accessing the tool is convenient, as users can find it through the Google app by tapping on their profile photo and selecting “results about you.” Additionally, Google has created a dedicated webpage for this purpose. While presently available in the US and in English, the company has plans to expand its availability to other languages and regions in the near future.
Policy Update on Personal Explicit Images
Google is also revising its policy regarding explicit photos of individuals in search results. Previously, users had the option to request the removal of non-consensual explicit images. Now, the internet giant is extending this option to encompass consensual imagery as well.
For instance, if an individual had previously uploaded explicit content of themselves to a website but later decided to delete it, they can now request Google to remove any instances of the content that have been reposted without their consent. It’s important to note that this policy doesn’t apply to content that users are currently selling or monetizing.
While removing explicit content from Google Search won’t eliminate it from the internet altogether, it significantly reduces its accessibility, making it more challenging for others to find. To learn how to use this feature, users can refer to the Google help center and search for “request removals.”
Updates to SafeSearch
In a further effort to enhance online safety, Google is rolling out updates to parental controls and SafeSearch. Starting this month, explicit imagery, such as adult or graphically violent content, will be blurred in search results by default, as previously announced. Users have the option to disable SafeSearch blurring from their settings, unless it has been locked on their account by a school network administrator or guardian.
Moreover, Google is streamlining access to parental controls through Search. Users searching for terms like “Google parental controls” or “Google family link” will now see an information box explaining how to adjust their account settings or their child’s account for added security.
These new features represent Google’s commitment to empowering users with greater control over their online information, as the company continues to enhance privacy measures and offer more robust tools for internet safety.