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Google now takes requests to remove personal info from search results

The search and advertising giant hopes to limit abuse and doxxing.
Image: Google's New York City offices.
Google's New York City offices.Spencer Platt / Getty Images file

Have you found your personal info on a webpage that you don't want shared? Google is now taking requests to remove those webpages from its search results.

In an update to its search terms first reported by Reuters, Google said it has created a form that users can submit to suppress pages that show information like phone numbers, home addresses, login credentials, personal images or images of identifying documents.

"Google may remove personally identifiable information (PII) that has potential to create significant risks of identity theft, financial fraud, harmful direct contact, or other specific harms," the company said. "This includes doxxing, which is when your contact info is shared in a malicious way."

Google said that it won't automatically remove the results and that there must be an explicit or implicit threat of abuse for the request to be considered.

A Google representative told Reuters its research has found an increasing amount of personally identifiable information online. The representative said she now expects to accept a higher percentage of takedown requests, although Google wouldn't remove information that appears as part of the public record on governmental or official sites.