In its latest stride towards enhancing online privacy and safety, Google is rolling out fresh updates for Search. These updates aim to empower users in managing their personal information and eliminating explicit content from Search.
Taking a step beyond its "Results about you" feature launched last year, Google is preparing to introduce a new dashboard. This dashboard will alert users if their contact details appear in web search results. Furthermore, it offers an easy way to request removal of any search results featuring your phone number, home address, or email. This tool can be accessed within the Google app, and while currently available in English in the U.S, Google plans to extend its availability to more regions and languages soon.
In addition to personal info, Google is setting its sights on explicit content in Search. Earlier this year, Google initiated a safeguard to protect users from accidentally stumbling upon explicit images. With the latest update, such imagery will be blurred by default in Search results. This new SafeSearch blurring feature is set to reach all users globally this month. Users have the option to turn off this setting unless it has been locked by a guardian or school network administrator.
The search giant is also simplifying access to parental controls within Search. Users can simply type relevant queries like "google parental controls" or "google family link" to find information on managing these controls.
Google already provides users with the ability to remove nonconsensual explicit imagery from Search. Now, it's also allowing users to remove explicit content that they had previously uploaded themselves.
In a blog post, Google stated, “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." However, this policy does not cover content currently being commercialized.
Keep in mind that removing content from Google Search doesn't erase it from the web or other search engines. But, Google believes these changes will grant users greater control over private information appearing in Search.