Automated Search for Personal Information
In September last year, Google unveiled the “Results about you” feature, a powerful tool located in the toolbar of both the mobile and web versions of its search engine. This feature has recently received an update, introducing automation to the process of finding personal information. By entering specific data into a dedicated form, the search tool will automatically comb the web for websites containing any matches with the given parameters. This streamlined process provides users with a comprehensive list of pages that hold their personal data, allowing them to review the information and, if necessary, submit a request to have it removed from the search results.
Push Notifications and Status Updates
Prior to the “Results About You” feature, users had to manually search for their personal information on the web and then request its removal through Google Help Desk. With the latest update, Google has also integrated push notifications to keep users informed of any new sources of their personal data. This proactive approach helps users stay on top of potential privacy concerns and take appropriate actions swiftly. Additionally, once users submit an application to remove their data from the search results, they gain access to the status of their request and any decisions made by Google.
Limitations and Global Availability
It is essential to understand that the “Results about you” function does not eliminate a user’s personal information from the internet entirely; rather, it focuses solely on removing it from Google’s search results. Therefore, individuals should remain vigilant about their online presence and the possibility of their personal data appearing on various web pages. Moreover, the tool has certain limitations, and it may not take action to remove information that comes from government inquiries or educational institutions.
At the moment, the “Results About You” tool is exclusively available to users who interact with Google Search in US English, notes NIX Solutions. However, Google is actively working on expanding language support and making this valuable privacy feature accessible to users in other countries very soon.