As everything moves online, we have to share the brunt of advancement in technology as much as we savor its benefits. Personal information about an individual that was earlier within the proximity of friends and family is now on public spaces on the internet. There are certain personal details which we would rather keep private and away from public vision. In this article, Matthew Davies explains how to delete personal information from public record websites.
- Contact the site owner- The first step or initiative you can take is to contact the site owner and request to remove the contents from the page or simply to remove the entire page from the website. You may also ask the information to be blocked from search engines. When this is done, Google will recrawl the page automatically as part of the normal indexing process. Under such circumstances the contents will no longer appear in search results. To speed up the removal process, access Google’s public removal tool and enter the URL of the page you do not want to appear on Google.
- When the site owner cannot be contacted- In certain situations when you cannot contact the site owner or you cannot get the content removed from the site, there is not much you can do. All you can is to contact Google for further help in getting the information removed. There are certain special cases when Google will help you in the deleting process.
If the information is a social security number, government ID number, bank account, or credit card number, then Google does take it very seriously to block such information from the public eye. Also, when a name or business that appears to be a part of an adult content scam is requested to be removed, Google does take necessary actions to get it deleted from the website.
- Other Google products- Your phone number or residential address might be displayed on products other than web search. Google phonebook might contain this information about you and you can request to delist them using the Google Phonebook Name Removal form. Sometimes, Google Maps also inadvertently displays personal contact details in place of business details. You can correct this information or edit the information status directly or use the ‘report a problem’ link.
- Google videos and YouTube- Google can help remove certain videos of copyrighted material or material that violates Google’s term of service. Google street view also shows photos of map related data. Although it blurs the faces and license plate numbers of vehicles, you can also request to completely remove photos of you or your home and car. For this you have to go to Google Maps and zoom into the area featuring personal details and then click on ‘report a problem’ link and choose ‘privacy concerns’ to remove the pictures from the public eye.
Matthew Davies feels that if you are aware of your privacy rights and the ways you can use them, it is very simple to keep your personal information off the radar of public vision.