At long last, Google just made it easier to keep personal info personal. In an age of media convergence, aka the merging of mass media, almost everyone has the same problem. That problem is the clash of personal information sharing and online privacy. In other words, it seems impossible to do anything online these days without risking a data leak.
Most Americans are concerned and feel that keeping personal info private is out of their control.
Whether it’s your phone number, address, credit card, photos—everything gets shared without our knowledge. Cookies, phishing, scams, and social media platforms alike all put our personal information in danger.
Check out this infographic for length of times that it takes to read the terms of service agreements for 14 popular apps. It will blow your mind. No one reads these things.
You can now directly request that Google remove your personal info. Google will take steps to remove:
- Non-consensual or personal explicit images
- Involuntary fake pornography
- Pornography that has somehow been (mis)associated with someone’s name
- Personally identifying information
- Information from doxxing
- Images of minors
- Personal information from sites with exploitative removal practices
- Credit card numbers
- Bank account numbers
- Social security numbers
- Government-issued ID information
- Medical records
- Personal information such as addresses, emails, and phone numbers
Granted, this all comes a little late in the game. However, it’s noteworthy that Google has finally acknowledged the large part its service plays in protecting people’s right to privacy.
For more information on how you can protect yourself and preserve your online privacy, check out Justice.gov’s recommendations.
Importantly, Google still recommends that you directly contact the owner or customer service department of any individual website in order to remove your personal info. However, if that doesn’t work out, you can request that Google remove specific info here.