What the Tech: Getting your personal info off of Google

Consumer technology reporter Jamey Tucker explains how this tool might be able to remove your address and phone number from appearing in google searches.
If you're worried about just how much of your personal information is available on the internet, you'll want to hear about a big change from Google.
Published: Dec. 23, 2022 at 10:48 AM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - If you’re worried about just how much of your personal information is available on the internet, you’ll want to hear about a big change from Google. The internet search giant will now let you remove your personal information from Google searches.

Whether you put it out there or not, everyone has a big digital footprint. Your name, email address, phone number, street address, and even what your house looks like from the street. All that information can be found with a simple Google search. But it’s rolling out an option where you can request having some of that information removed.

Announced earlier this year, Google said the tool allows you to easily control whether your personally identifiable information can be found in google search results. To see your personal information posted on websites, Google your name. If you see a site publishing your personal information, you can click or tap on the three dots and you should see a prompt to remove the information.

The tool hasn’t been rolled out to everyone yet. It isn’t working on Chrome computer browser, nor the Google app for iOS or Android. Google says when it is available, you’ll be able to request that the website be removed from the search results.

This tool is an addition to Google’s attempts to protect the personal information of its users. There are tools to delete your web and tracking information and to blur your house on Google street view.

This is a step in the right direction for google, but since the information will stay online, someone can find your name, address, email address, and phone number using another internet browser. If you want to have that information deleted, you’ll need to ask the owner of the website.

Many websites publishing personal information such as someone’s street address are gathered from public records. That information will not be removed from the internet.

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