Want to decide what appears about you on Google? No problem!

Embarrassing photos, private personal data, incorrect information, history that may affect you when applying for a job or generate family, professional, or reputation problems… Users can now request the removal of their personal information from Google search results with “the right to be forgotten”.

Google’s new policy is aiming to prevent the exploitation of personal information for nefarious reasons such as stalking, bribery, or identity theft. It grants a person the ability to request that Google deindex pages that refer to their name or specific incidents related to them. The information is still on the original sites, but will not appear in Google’s index, and therefore, is less likely to be seen.

Did you know that as of a few weeks ago, you can request to have your address, phone number, or email removed, as well as social security numbers, bank accounts and credit cards, photos of your signature and personal documents, as well as medical records. It usually takes a few days to a week to process.

But… How can I start this process?

The first step is to visit g.co/legal and select Google Search. You must provide proof that you are the person involved with the pages. Click on personal information and “right to be forgotten” for the removal reason. Fill out all the information needed including the website address, personal information, and specific search queries. The more information available, the better for Google to decide. The form allows users to submit up to 1,000 URLs.

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, there were 1862 data breach events in 2021, a record, and an increase of 68 percent, compared to the previous year. 293.9 million people were victims in 2021, which actually represents a 5% decrease.

Can companies do this? Businesses that received negative reviews have also tried to get the URLs removed, but those are generally unsuccessful. But this is just the beginning of a new digital era. Stay tuned for what is yet to come.