The company’s previous stance limited requests to special instances, such as doxxing campaigns, as well as conspicuous fraud targets like bank and credit card details. Google will still review requests to be sure they’re honest — it won’t scrub references that are a matter of public record, for instance. A politician couldn’t simply ask to have their office phone number removed.
Google has long allowed users to request that some personal information be removed from search results, but this option should suddenly be much more useful. Google’s policy has been expanded to allow you to request the removal of contact information such as phone numbers, email addresses, and physical locations. You can also ask Google to delete login credentials from searches if they appear.
The expansion follows other recent efforts to curb the spread of sensitive info. As of last year, Google users under 18 can request the removal of their photos from image searches. However, this might be one of the more important developments. While the widened policy isn’t guaranteed to protect your privacy, it could thwart doxxers, harassers and stalkers who are counting on a quick Google search to reach their targets.