Google is extending its policy of deleting certain privacy information

Google is extending its policy of deleting certain privacy information


This is a discreet but significant change for Internet users: Google announced on Wednesday (April 27th) that it could now, under certain conditions, request the deletion of pages containing personal information, such as a phone number or e-mail address. -email, a mailing address or confidential login credentials.

“The Internet continues to evolve – information can appear in unexpected places, with new ways of tooling it – so our privacy policy [des utilisateurs] must also evolve “, writes in a blog post the head of Google’s global search policy, Michelle Chang. The goal stated by the company: to reduce harassment or “doxxing”, this malicious practice which consists of monitoring information related to a person’s privacy and displaying it publicly on the Internet in order to harm it.

In fact, Google has already made it possible to delete certain sensitive information, such as a social security number or bank details, under certain conditions: involving third parties in the context of a harassment campaign. These conditions still exist, but it is therefore the list of information that can be the subject of a larger withdrawal request, as shown on the page dedicated to this question in the search engine’s help center.

Read also: “Doxing”: because some Internet users disclose the personal data of their targets

13% of requests are successful

“We will continue to evaluate all content on the affected page [par la demande de retrait] to ensure that we do not restrict the provision of information that may be useful, for example, to press articlessays Michelle Chang. We will also evaluate whether such content appears in public documents, government websites, or other official sources. If so, we will not proceed with the withdrawal. »

For the tech giant, the idea therefore remains to strike the right balance between, on the one hand, legitimate withdrawal requests and, on the other, those aimed at removing items that are annoying to those interested but that might be necessary for the general interest. At present, only 13% of deletion requests are successful, M explainsmy Chang in an interview with Reuters news agency. The official expects, however, that the new policy implemented will increase this percentage.

In this interview, as well as in her blog post, the head of Google reminds us that information that no longer appears on search engine pages has not disappeared from the Internet: we can often find this information through other search engines, for example. To see the information disappear permanently, it is therefore advisable to contact the hosting site directly.

Read also The “right to oblivion” does not apply to the whole world, European justice decides

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