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Sci-Tech
Thursday Aug 26 2021
By
Web Desk

Google can help protect personal information from fraudsters

By
Web Desk
The information that the Google removes is only personal information — AFP
The information that the Google removes is only personal information — AFP
  • Law allows EU and UK citizens to fill a simple form with details of information they want to remove from Google search listings.
  • Since 2014, Google has received more than 4.4 million delisting requests.
  • The tech giant only processed 47% requests.


CALIFORNIA: As the number of cyberattacks increase, people have shown concerns regarding the way internet companies handle their personal information.

It has been observed that people have complained about their data being stolen or leaked on the dark web for profit.

Under the law ‘right to be forgotten’ — first introduced in 2014 by the European Union (EU) — citizens of the EU and UK can fill a simple form with details of the information they want to be removed from Google search listings.

According to Google, since the law was introduced the technology company has received more than 4.4 million delisting requests.

However, the tech giant only processed 47% of requests. If Google denies a request, the applicants are informed through email.

The requests were denied due to several reasons; mostly the requests were turned down because they considered the information to be in the public interest. For example, any information related to someone’s professional life, criminal records, etc.

The information that the tech giant removes is only personal information for instance names, family information and addresses. With the help of data broker sites, fraudsters could collect this sort of information and then change passwords and engineer a fake profile of that person.

Nonetheless, the key risk area identified by the tech giant is social media. According to the company, most of the removal requests they receive are URLs from social media websites. However, it is pertinent to mention that if a URL is delisted from Google search, it does not mean that the site itself has removed the data.

To protect your privacy and data, the self-audit of your online presence is very important. To begin with, search about yourself on Google to see what information is publically available.

Once you have built up a picture of your web presence, you identify information that you can and cannot have removed. Then, you can request removal from search engines or web privacy companies to secure your online identity.