Maintaining your online privacy can be an ongoing challenge, as every website has evolving standards of data collection and terms and conditions that can be hard to sort through and make sense of. We advise patients and survivors to regularly do an online search for any information that you may not want readily available, for example, to potential employers or that could inadvertently disclose a diagnosis.
Google has recently announced a function that gives you further control over what shows up within a Google Search.
By using this online form, you can request personal contact information such as physical addresses, phone numbers and email addresses be removed from Google Search results. Also note, that while Google does not go into further detail within the form, it does specifically state you can request the removal of “highly personal, restricted, and official records, like medical records” as well.
After submitting your request form, Google will send you a confirmation e-mail, and then follow-up later to let you know if they approved your request to remove the content. It is important to note, however, that if approved, this would only remove the information from Google Search, not from the source webpage it may be listed on or other online search engines (such as Yahoo, Bing etc.).
Google does offer some guidance on how to directly contact a webmaster (or owner of a website) to request any personal information be removed directly from the source.
For more tips from CAC on navigating your online privacy, be sure to check out: