What the Tech: Google tool can change your digital footprint

Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 6:03 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Whether you put it out there or not, everyone has a digital footprint.

Your name, email address, phone number, street address, and even what your house looks like from the street. All that information can be found with a simple Google Search. But it’s rolling out an option where you can request having some of that information removed.

Announced earlier this year, Google said the tool allows you to easily control whether your personally identifiable information can be found in Google search results.

To see your personal information posted on websites, Google your name. If you see a site publishing your personal information, you can click or tap on the three dots, and you should see a prompt to remove the information. The tool hasn’t been rolled out to everyone yet.

It isn’t working on my Chrome computer browser, nor the Google app for iOS or Android. Google says when it is available, you’ll be able to request that the website be removed from the search results.

This tool is an addition to Google’s attempts to protect the personal information of its users. There are tools to delete your web and tracking information.

And a tool to blur your house on Google Street View. This is a step in the right direction for Google, but since the information will stay online, someone can find your name, address, email address, and phone number using another internet browser.

Many websites publish information gathered from public records including past mailing addresses and phone numbers.

If you want to have that information deleted, you’ll need to ask the owner of the website.