Removing Your Personal Information From Google
Why Google Generally Won't Remove Your Personal Information
Google's core product, web search, simply indexes pages on the web and makes them available to searchers. Since Google doesn't control the information on those pages, they will generally only remove them from their index if the site owner removes the pages from the site or uses standard methods of blocking the content from search engines.
This tool will guide you through the process of reporting content that you believe warrants removal from Google's services based on applicable laws. Completing this form will help ensure that we have all of the information necessary to investigate your specific inquiry and resolve it as quickly as possible.
If multiple Google products are affected, please note that you must submit a notice for each product affected.
If you have a specific legal issue concerning YouTube, please visit this link for further information. Please do not use this tool to report issues that relate to YouTube.
Articles have been removed from some search results on European versions of its search engine to comply with Europe’s "right to be forgotten." Unlike in the United States, where freedom of expression is a fundamental right that supersedes other interests, Europe views an individual’s privacy and freedom of expression as almost equal rights. As a matter of policy, Google does not reveal who asked for the material to be shielded, or even what search terms will cause the articles to disappear from results.
The complaint named three British companies, TLD Network, Quantum Management and TBS Industries, as well as two men who it said controlled the companies: Thomas Goolnik and Edward Harris Goolnik of London.
Keeping Private Information From Search Engines
If you're on social network such as Facebook or MySpace, you can generally customize your profile settings to keep the information private. With Facebook, for instance, go to “Account > Privacy Settings.” You can then customize the settings from different aspects of your account, such as photos of you and your address. “Friends only” keeps them from being indexed by search engines. You can set the “basic directory information” to friends only as well, which keeps things such as your workplace and home town private. You can even keep your Facebook profile from showing up entirely in search engines by deselecting the “Enable public search” checkbox under “Privacy Settings > Applications and Websites > Public Search > Edit Settings.”
Removing Content That Is Located On A Site You Don't Own
You can't just ask Google to remove the content. Google indexes the web as it appears.
The first step is to contact the site owner and ask that the content be removed from the page or the page be removed from the web site or blocked from search engines. Once you have done this, Google will recrawl the page automatically as part of the normal indexing process and the content will no longer appear in search results once this happens. However, if you would like to speed up this process (as it can take some time for Google to recrawl the page), you can specifically request that Google remove the content from their index. Remember, you can only make this request once the content no longer exists on the web.
To speed up the removal process:
- Access Google's public removal tool
- Choose “New removal request”
- Enter the URL of the page you'd like removed from Google.
- Then do one of the following:
If the site owner removed the page or blocked it from search engines, choose “Webmaster has already blocked the page” and select the checkbox that “says the page returns a 404/410, or has been blocked by robots.txt or a noindex meta tag:”
Google will check to ensure that the page no longer exists or is blocked and then remove it from search results.
If the site owner has modified the page so that it no longer includes your personal information, choose “Content has already been removed from the page.” Then enter a term that has been removed from the page:
Note that these terms not only have to be terms that were removed from the page, but they can't appear elsewhere on the page.
Removing “Sensitive” Information From Google When The Site Owner Won't Remove It
What can you do if you contact the site owner but can't get the content removed from the site or you can't contact the site owner at all? Unfortunately, in most cases, there's not much you can do. However, for certain types of content, you can contact Google for further help getting it removed. The special cases are when the information is:
- A social security number of government ID number
- A bank account or credit card number
- An image of a handwritten signature
- A name or business that appears as part of adult content spam
Simply follow the instructions contained in the links above.
NOTE: If you want content removed from Google that's located on a site that you do own, see Removing Pages from Google: A Comprehensive Guide for Content Owners for details.
When Negative Information About You Appears In Google Results
What if you own a business and someone posts a negative comment on a review site that you don't agree with? Or someone writes an article about you that shows you in a bad light? In situations like that, you generally can't get the site owner to remove the content and as described above, you can't ask Google to remove the information from their index.
Removing Personal Information From Other Google Products
Google Phonebook: Google Phonebook uses third-party data to populate its listings. Results from Google Phonebook in web search results have a phone icon beside them:
You can request that Google not display your residential address and phone number listing from this data using the Google Phonebook Name Removal form. Note that your phone number may appear in Google search results even once it's removed from Google Phonebook. The information may be coming from a web page (see “removing content from a site you don't own” above”) or a Google Maps listing (see “removing content from Google Maps”, below.)
Google Maps: Google Maps also uses third-party data and sometimes inadvertently displays personal contact details in place of business details. If you are a verified business owner, you can correct this information. If information about a business you don't own displays your personal contact information, you can edit the information directly or use the report a problem link to request the information be changed.
Blogger: Blogger is a blogging platform and as such, Google generally doesn't remove content from it. However, you can request removal of content that violates Blogger's terms of service. So for instance, if someone is impersonating you using your real name, you can request an investigation.
Google Groups: Google Groups is a discussion forum platform, and as such, Google generally doesn't remove content from it.
Google Video & YouTube: Google Video and YouTube are video platforms that enables users to share content. Google generally doesn't remove content owned by others, but you can request removal of copyrighted material or material that violates Google's terms of service. You can also remove a video that you previously uploaded.
Google Street View: Google Street View shows photos of map-related data (such as streets and businesses) and generally includes homes, vehicles, and people. Google attempts to blur identifying details, such as faces and license plate numbers. You can request that photos of you, your home, and your car be removed completely as well. Simply go to Google maps and zoom into the area that contains the personal photo. Click the “report a problem” link and choose “privacy concerns, then a face, my house, or my car/a license plate.
You can delete most spam and blogs by adding -com to your search terms. All major search engines limit you to 1,000 visible results. All page estimates are only only estimates and FAR from accurate, they will very greatly from minute to minute.
TO FIND WEBSITES AND THE PAGES INSIDE THE SITE. YOU HAVE TO HAVE A ROBOTS TEXT FILE IN YOUR WEBSITE DIRECTORY TO HELP A ROBOT FIND YOU SITE AND TO TELL THE ROBOT WHAT PAGES YOUR DON'T WANT THE SEARCH ENGINE TO HAVE. Yahoo, Ice rocket, AllTheWeb, Ask Jeeves, Teoma, Lycos, Excite, WebCrawler, Vivisimo, MSN, Google, Meta Crawler, Search.Com, Mamma, Dog Pile, Split Search, Twin Search
Health data housed in your medical record — even though belonging to a criminal who stole your identity — are protected by medical privacy laws. Medical identity theft affected 2.3 million adults in 2014, an increase of roughly 22% since 2013. Patients are routinely asked to share their Social Security numbers when seeing a healthcare provider for the first time. But it's not required to deliver care. Each of us has the right to a full copy of our health record upon request. It's a good idea to request yours to confirm that medical services you didn't receive aren't added to your records or charged to your accounts. Also, examine the explanation of benefits you get from your insurer to make sure there are no payments for services you didn't receive.