Google has launched a new security feature that will allow people under the age of 18 to request the removal of their images and photos from search results. This feature was originally announced in August along with new restrictions on targeting underage ads; and is now available to a wide range of users.
You can delete a photo on the Google support page. Those interested will need to provide the URLs of the images they want to remove from the search results, the search terms that allow them to find these photos, the name and age of the minor, and the name and degree of relationship of the person who can act on behalf of the child – for example, a parent or guardian. It is difficult to say what criteria Google will take into account when making decisions about photo deletion. The company notes that it will remove any images of minors, except in cases of public interest or significant news. The interpretation of these terms is a “gray area” that can lead to controversy.
It is worth noting that Google will not comply with requests to remove photos of people who are over 18 years old. That is, a 30-year-old user will not be able to ask the search giant to delete their photos at the age of 15. Google also emphasizes that removing an image from search results does not completely remove it from the Internet.
In addition to these new features, Google is already offering other ways to remove certain types of inappropriate content from search results; such as explicit, non-consensual snapshots, fake pornography, personal financial or health information, and data such as home addresses and phone numbers.
Personal information that Google will remove
If you are unable to have a website owner remove the content from the site; Google may remove personal information that creates significant risks of identity theft, financial fraud, or other specific harms. The following articles provide details on the types of removals that are available:
- Remove non-consensual explicit or intimate personal images from Google
- Remove involuntary fake pornography from Google
- Or Remove content about me on sites with exploitative removal practices from Google
- Remove select financial, medical and national ID information from Google
- Remove “doxxing” content – content exposing contact information with an intent to harm
- Or Remove images of minors from Google search results
Google also removes content for specific legal reasons, such as DMCA copyright violation reports and child sexual abuse imagery. To request a removal for a legal reason, use the legal troubleshooter form.