Google is introducing a few new Search updates that are designed to help users stay in control of their personal information, privacy and online safety. The company announced today that it’s making it easier for users to find and remove results about themselves, while also updating its policies on personal explicit images to remove this content from Search.
The search giant is going to roll out a new dashboard that will inform users if web results with their contact information is showing up on Search. The new dashboard builds on Google’s “Results about you” tool that launched last year and makes it easy to request the removal of search results that contain your phone number, home address or email. With this new dashboard, you can quickly request the removal of your contact information from Google.
You can access this tool in the Google app by clicking on your Google account photo and selecting “Results about you.” The tool is available in the U.S. in English for now, but Google is working on bringing it to new locations and languages soon.
Earlier this year, Google rolled out a safeguard that helps protect people from inadvertently encountering explicit imagery on Search. With this update, explicit imagery — such as adult or graphic violent content — will now be blurred by default when it appears in Search results. The new SafeSearch blurring setting is rolling out for all users globally this month. You can adjust your settings and turn it off at any time, unless a guardian or school network administrator has locked the setting.
In addition, the company is making it easier to find parental controls directly in Search. You can do so by typing a relevant query like “google parental controls” or “google family link” and you will see a box with information on how to manage your parental controls.
Although Google already enables users to remove nonconsensual explicit imagery from Search, the search giant is now letting users remove explicit content that they uploaded themselves.
“We have long had policies that enable you to remove non-consensual explicit imagery from Search,” Google wrote in a blog post. “Now, we’re building on these protections to enable people to remove from Search any of their personal, explicit images that they no longer wish to be visible in Search. For example, if you created and uploaded explicit content to a website, then deleted it, you can request its removal from Search if it’s being published elsewhere without approval. This policy doesn’t apply to content you are currently commercializing.”
It’s worth noting that removing content from Google Search does not remove it from the web or other search engines. However, Google says it hopes these changes will users more control over private information appearing in Search.