Google has announced new privacy tools to make it easier to remove personal content online, including updating their policies on removing personal and intimate images. The latest updates will help users to remove non-consensual or intimate images of themselves from Google Search.
Alongside updates to their policies, Google has expanded on last year’s introduction of the ‘Results About You’ tool with a series of updates to help people take control of how their personal information is being viewed online.
Removing Intimate Images and Information
The latest update to Google’s intimate personal images policy will expand upon their previous support for users whose non-consensual intimate images were visible through search results. The new changes will now support users who wishes to remove any of their private sexual images from Google search results, unless the content is currently being used for commercial purposes by the individual.
Alongside this, Google have now made it easier to remove any personal information or imagery from search results, which can be done by submitting a request. The updated forms will be simplified, helping to give users ‘more control over private information appearing in Google Search.’
Google requires any imagery being considered for removal to meet the following requirements:
- The imagery shows you (or the individual you're representing) nude, in a sexual act, or an intimate state.
- You (or the individual you're representing) didn't consent to the imagery or the act and it was made publicly available OR the imagery was made available online without your consent.
- You are not currently being paid for this content online or elsewhere.
After submitting a request, Google will review the content and, in some cases, ask for more information. Google will then notify applicants of any action taken to the content, giving users the opportunity to re-submit cases and material if their request is denied. To request the removal of intimate images, users can visit Google’s support page.
Whilst this is a significant step towards protecting users’ privacy, it is important to note that content removal will be limited to Google Search results and will not encompass other search engines or the wider web. If you want to find out more about how to remove your intimate images across social media and adult sites, you can visit the Revenge Porn Helpline’s website for more information.
Alongside this, if your content has been removed from a website but is still appearing within search results, the Helpline has created a guide to remove outdated content across Google and Bing. You can also set up a Google Alert to help track where your personal information or intimate content can be found on Google search results, by inputting various terms and phrases you feel may be relevant.
StopNCII.org has also partnered with a number of platforms such as TikTok, Bumble, Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, OnlyFans, and Threads to ensure the prevention of non-consensual intimate image sharing across these channels, allowing for more support, alongside the steps taken by Google.
If you’re an adult who has been affected by intimate image abuse, you can call the Revenge Porn Helpline on 0345 6000 459, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Helpline is open from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays. For 24/7 advice, you can access our chatbot from the bottom right-hand corner of the website.