The Google tool allows you to request the deletion of personal information

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Google may refuse your request

Google has a standard process for determining whether to comply with your request. It checks if the information you are requesting to remove resides on the host page. It ensures that you are the person whose information would be deleted or that you have a close relationship with the person.

And Google may deny your request if it determines that leaving the information intact is in the “public interest”, perhaps because it is timely or because it is part of a public record on a government site. You can’t ask Google to remove content just because you don’t like what it says, like a post from someone calling you a bad plumber.

“We can’t assess, ‘was it true or not true?’ and make those kinds of judgments,” Sullivan says. “By default, we try to show things that we think are generally reliable or useful information.”

Google will make a decision on your removal request in about a week, he says. If you are denied, Google will provide an explanation.

Even if Google agrees to remove your information from its search results, the material may appear in the results of other search engines, on social media or on websites.

Microsoft competitor Bing, far behind Google, has an online Report a problem to Bing page, where you can request removal of certain information from its search engine, although this is not a transparent process. Click it Return link at the bottom of the page, then click on the to report a problem link in the window that appears. Select your concern from the checklist and follow additional instructions for reporting your particular issue.


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