So wait, Google is allowing people to remove pages from the search results? Won’t people just take down pages that they don’t agree with? Luckily that isn’t the case. Google is expanding its appeals process for the removal of search listings that include personal information. This means users are now able to request search index search omissions for web pages that list their address and contact info, among other identifiers.
As explained by Google:
“Under this new policy expansion, people can now request removals of additional types of information when they find it in Search results, including personal contact information like a phone number, email address, or physical address. The policy also allows for the removal of additional information that may pose a risk for identity theft, such as confidential log-in credentials, when it appears in Search results.”
This update could have strong implications on social networks potentially having to reassess their listings to ensure they comply with these new regulations. Though they only become enforceable when raised by an individual, which means that there are likely not a great deal of updates that would need to be implemented.
This is just another addition to Google’s efforts to allow users to request censorship of certain search listings:
“On Google Search, we have a set of policies that allow people to request the removal of certain content from Search, with a focus on highly personal content that, if public, can cause direct harm to people.
That process was introduced in response to Europe’s “Right to Be Forgotten” legislation, which was implemented back in 2014 and gives individuals the legal right to ask search engines like Google to delist certain results for queries related to a person’s name.
As per Google:
“In deciding what to delist, search engines must consider if the information in question is “inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant or excessive,” and whether there is a public interest in the information remaining available in search results.”
This was expanded even more in 2018 with the EU implemented the General Data Protection Regulation, which includes a section that gives internet users a ‘right to erasure’, providing more control over harmful internet listings.
If any of these listings appear as a part of the public record on government sites, removals will not occur.
It appears as though with the increasing pressure from officials, particularly in the EU, to implement more measures on privacy, Google is giving users a lot more control over their online info.
Luckily for marketers, this news should not have any implications on how we do our jobs. But this, combined with Google phasing out cookie tracking, shows just how far Google is going to protect user data.
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