Google has just announced the expansion of its next privacy tool. Created to protect your personally identifiable information (PII) from being too easy to find, the “Results About You” tool was first announced in May 2022. It will soon begin rolling out to a broader audience, and once it is available, you can easily request the deletion of your personal data.
Now in Search On 22Google shared that it will be expanding this tool with an additional useful feature: the ability to set alerts if and when your PII appears on the web.
Most of us have Googled our own name at one time or another, if only out of curiosity. Sometimes these searches can provide unwanted results. If you’ve searched Google yourself and found that your personal information has been shared without your consent, you can ask Google to remove it. Previously, this mainly included banking information and credit card numbers, but earlier this year, Google expanded that set.
Now, if you find your physical address, phone number, and/or email address online, you can ask Google to take care of it for you and remove it. However, with the introduction of the new “Results About You” privacy tool, doing this will be even easier. You’ll just need to click the three dots next to the search result, request deletion, and then monitor the status of your request.
During Search On 22, Google announced that this feature will soon begin rolling out to users within the United States using the English search engine, with a global rollout to (presumably) follow at a later time. Google has also revealed that it is taking privacy protection a step further by expanding the tool.
Starting in early 2023, you will be able to set alerts about your personal information that appears in search results. If any new entry appears with any of your PII, Google will let you know so that you can request removal as soon as possible. While this doesn’t delete data from the actual website it appeared on, it will go a step further to make sure it’s harder to find.