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Google to remove medical records from its search results

Google has added ‘confidential, personal medical records of private people’ to the list of things it may remove from its search results. This was recently added to the page where the company states removal policy. The development was first reported by Bloomberg. Such information is only pulled when the company gets specific requests from individuals, a Google spokeswoman told the publication. An user can request the company to pull down the health reports if they have been uploaded without the individual’s consent.

Other information that can be removed  

As per the company, it removes  content from its search results if it includes child sexual abuse imagery and also content in response to valid legal requests, such as copyright notifications that meet the requirements of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Other than this, users can request the removal of  US Social Security Number, Argentine Single Tax Identification Number, Brazil Cadastro de pessoas Físicas, Korea Resident Registration Number, China Resident Identity Card, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, images of signatures, nude or sexually explicit images that were uploaded without the user’s consent. The category of sexually explicit images uploaded without an individual’s consent was added by Google in 2015. However,  personal information such as date of birth, address and telephone number of individuals are not removed by the company.

Recent developments at Google

-Google recently announced that it has discontinued the practice of scanning emails of users in order to sell targeted ads. Companies have been wary of Google’s email scanning practice in the past, even though it was limited to the free consumer service and not G Suite, and preferred others. This latest move might bring some of them back to G Suite.

– Earlier this month, Google announced four new steps they will be employing to tackle extremist content across all of its services, especially YouTube. The company said that it’s also been working with government, law enforcement and civil society groups for this purpose.

– In April this year, Google announced changes to its search algorithm in an attempt to push down fake news from its search results. The new updates include emphasis on authoritative content over low quality content and also lets users flag inappropriate auto-complete suggestions and featured snippet answers.

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