"[T]he internet is always evolving—with information popping up in unexpected places and being used in new ways—so our policies and protections need to evolve, too," Chang continued.
The new policy also allows people to request the removal of personal information in Search that could be used for financial fraud such as log-in credentials or account numbers.
Although Google’s new policy is a step in the right direction, it doesn’t cure the problem altogether. "It's important to remember that removing content from Google Search won't remove it from the internet, which is why you may wish to contact the hosting site directly, if you're comfortable doing so," Chang said.
Do you have any personal information that pops up in Google Search that you’d like to have removed? Visit the topic’s support page, scroll down and click the “Start removal request” link. As you follow the prompts you will be able to specify the personal information that shows up in Search and will be asked to share a list of relevant search terms, such as your full name, maiden name and nickname. You’ll also be able to share supplemental details before submitting the request.
After your request is submitted, you should receive an email from Google confirming the request was received. It’s unclear how long the removal process will take.
Google’s new policy changes come during a surge in online fraud. The Federal Trade Commission reported that consumers lost $5.8 billion to scammers in 2021, a jump of 70% from the previous year.
A big portion of fraud is committed through online scams as well as identity theft and telephone solicitations.
In an attempt to give the FTC more power to fight back against fraud, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, chair of the Commerce Committee, will introduce legislation this week to make it easier for the Committee to sue deceptive companies and scammers.
“If the FTC remains disarmed of this critical authority, millions of consumers and small businesses who’ve been scammed, swindled, or locked out of competitive marketplaces will never be made whole,” Cantwell said in a statement.
This article originally appeared on 05.03.22