Google’s content removal policy has been updated to include medical records. This goes on a very short list of content that Google will remove from search.
In a recent update Google has now begun purging private medical information from their search results. As Bloomberg reported the change in Google’s removal policies, which adds a single line that reads, “Confidential, personal medical records of private people”. Google hasn’t given much information to Bloomberg about the change, except for only telling Bloomberg that they have “confirmed the changes do not affect search advertising.” Google declined to comment further on why they are making this change now.
“On Thursday, the search engine added private medical records to its small list of things that it won’t include in its search results, according to Bloomberg. While the company has yet to release a statement on the decision, “confidential, personal medical records of private people” is now listed under the search engine’s Removal Policies page, which confirms the decision.” Washington Post
“Google will now accept requests to remove personal medical records from its search results, adding to a very short list of types of sensitive personal information that the web search giant will not display.” PC MAG
“Google might have begun working on the category’s addition after an unfortunate event in December that exposed the sensitive medical condition of a massive number of people. An Indian pathology lab mistakenly uploaded 43,000 patients’ blood tests, including their names and corresponding HIV test results. Google, doing what Google does best, indexed them all. This new policy could prevent mishaps like that from affecting people’s lives, especially if they have a condition they only want close friends and family to know.” EnGadget.com
Google lists very few examples of information they will remove content from their index, including:
- national identification numbers like US Social Security Number, Argentine Single Tax Identification Number, Brazil Cadastro de pessoas Físicas, Korea Resident Registration Number, China Resident Identity Card and more.
- bank account numbers.
- credit card numbers.
- images of signatures.
- nude or sexually explicit images that were uploaded or shared without your consent.
- confidential, personal medical records of private people.