Google is currently rolling out a feature that allows users to remove search results that contain their contact and other personally identifiable information (PII) —Results about you. The company first announced the feature at the I/O 2022 in May, stating that it will allow users to “easily control whether their PII can be found in Search results.” And now, the feature is starting to go live.
How does the new feature work?
Google added a new menu item in its app on Android in the profile section of users – Results about you. In addition, clicking on this will take users to a page that explains how they can request Google to remove Search results containing their phone number, home address, email, or other PII.
Therefore, users can click on the three-dot menu at the top right if they find a result with these details. It will take them to the usual “About this result” panel, only now it has a new “Remove result” option at the bottom of the screen. Clicking this will open a dialog box saying if the result contains one of those three things, Google “can review your request more quickly.”
After that, users can monitor their removal progress in the “Results about you” section. It contains filters like “All requests,” “In progress,” and “Approved.” Additionally, on this page, users can make a new request that involves a “Why would you like to remove this result?” step. And the options included with that question are these –
- It shows my personal contact info
- It contains illegal info
- It shows my contact info with an intent to harm me
- It’s outdated
- It shows other personal info
However, users should note that Google previously explained that they might not grant all requests.
“It’s important to note that when we receive removal requests, we will evaluate all content on the web page to ensure that we’re not limiting the availability of other broadly useful information, for instance, in news articles. And removing contact information from Google Search doesn’t remove it from the web, which is why you may wish to contact the hosting site directly if you’re comfortable doing so.”
Lastly, the “Results about you” feature is only available to a limited number of users in the US and Europe. But the rollout is still in process, so users should stay tuned and update the Google app as soon as they see the sign for it.