Google's search engine stores tens of billions of documents on the web. Among them may be some of your personal information. So don't be surprised if your physical address or phone number appears in search engine results. Rest assured it is possible to delete this information. We explain how to do it..
Remove your personal information from Google search results
The presence of information that can personally identify you poses a risk to your security. Remember that the internet is a public space. You need to control what others see when they search for you.
If this data falls into the wrong hands, the consequences could be catastrophic. Crooks do not hesitate to collect this data and use it to commit misdeeds (identity theft, fraudulent payment, etc.). This is why you need to react quickly..
Like many Internet users, you probably think that once information is recorded on the Internet, it is practically impossible to delete it. Well you are wrong. The new European directives impose on tech giants a right to be forgotten.
In concrete terms, this means that Internet users have the right to have all information concerning them removed from a search engine. It can be for example an address, a telephone number but also sensitive information such as political, religious or trade union opinions..
Start by typing your first and last name into the Google search engine. If you see your personal information appearing in search results, you will have no choice but to submit a content removal request to Google.
The American firm offers a form to make this request yourself. Please note that Google does not support all queries. Below are all content categories affected by the Data Deletion Policy.
- Medical records
- Explicit images shared without your consent
- Login ID or Password
- Banking information such as credit card or account number
- Identification number issued by an administration (permit number, social security number, identity card, driving license etc.)
- Photos of your handwritten signature
- Copy of your identity card
Since last month, it is also possible to request the deletion of your personal details such as your physical address, your telephone number or your e-mail address. We will see in the next section how to issue a request.
Submit a phone number removal request
Google has set up a form accessible to all Internet users to facilitate the deletion of personal data. Before you start, you need to make sure your information is still online.
- Open your web browser
- Go to this page: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/legal-removal-request
- Select the country in which you reside
- Enter your first and last name and email address
- Then enter the URL address of the page containing your personal information
- Give the reason that led you to make this request
You will be asked to provide certain supporting documents such as a copy of your identity card or passport. Don't forget to clearly explain the reasons that led you to make your request. This is very important to help Google assess your request.
According to figures given by the search engine, only 13% of queries are successful. For example, data from content hosted on government sites is never removed. This is also the case for the information present on a newspaper article.
Google also advises to contact the platform that publishes your phone number and ask them to remove it. Note that some social networks like Facebook also have a data deletion form.