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A Google update makes it simpler for American users to eliminate certain undesirable search results.

This week, Google announced new privacy enhancements that give users in the United States a little more say over how they appear in Google searches.

The tech giant has announced the launch of a new dashboard that will show you in real time whether or not search results featuring your contact information are being returned by its platform. In a blog post on Thursday, Google’s vice president of Trust, Danielle Romain, said, “Then, you can quickly ask Google to take down those results right in the tool.”

For more “peace of mind,” Romain explains, Google will also send you alerts whenever the site returns results that include your contact information.

Google also announced it would make it possible for users to hide pornographic photos they’ve uploaded themselves. If you have removed explicit content from a website but it is still showing up in Google Search results without your permission, you can ask Google to remove it. However, the policy does not cover material that you intend to sell.

On Thursday, Romain announced that the forms users use to request removal of offensive or otherwise problematic content had been modified and simplified.

“Indeed, it is important to note that the act of eliminating content from Google Search does not entail its removal from the internet or other search engines. Nevertheless, our intention is that these modifications will provide users with enhanced authority over the visibility of their private information within Google Search,” she continued.

Google’s actions are very minor, but they represent a step towards a “right to be forgotten” regulation similar to those in place in Europe. However, at the moment, the US updates are limited to things like contact information and non-public photos of the user’s private parts. Advocates for digital privacy have long regretted the United States’ policy being so far behind that of the European Union. The right to be forgotten was first established by a judgement from an EU court in 2014; however, that same court ruled in 2019 that Google is not obligated to respect the right outside of the EU.

However, the latest privacy battlefield in Big Tech—generative AI—is conspicuously absent from Google’s recently announced privacy changes. Many users and privacy groups are now urging tech companies to provide consumers with a method to opt-out of having their digital data used to train AI tools as companies race to construct huge language models, the technology that supports generative AI capabilities.

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