Google's Sweet New Privacy Feature

Brandon McCauley
October 30th, 2021

In the midst of the storm of privacy concerns regarding enormous online platforms like Twitch, Apple, and Facebook, Google has provided the public with a breath of fresh air. Instead of having to worry about privacy, the tech giant has just released a brand new feature that keeps users relieved about it!

What is This Feature?

Earlier this week, Google announced a new feature that is intended to protect a very vulnerable demographic: minors. More specifically, it allows children and teenagers to delete images of them that come up in Google Search, in which they specified that “[they] know that kids and teens have to navigate some unique challenges online.”

By filling out this form provided by Google, minors would be able to request deletion for the following:

  • Direct URLs to images of them
  • The URLs of any search results pages that contain images of them

The Public’s Perception

Overall, this update has been widely accepted by the public. Despite the backlash that companies like Apple received over their own privacy ambitions and preexisting methods for people to remove their private information from Google Search, Google has seemingly thrived due to the broader changes that this update could affectuate.

In fact, some experts noted that, since minors would have more autonomy over their own images online, it could also mitigate cyberbullying or prevent potentially harmful information or photos from being easily accessible. This feature is also speculated to make it easier for parents to talk with their kids about managing their digital footprint.

The Caveat

While this is a huge step in the right direction for those concerned about their privacy, there is some fine print – just because someone uses this feature, that does not mean that the images are removed from the Internet in its entirety.

If, after deleting an image using this new feature, a minor was to find that same image on any individual site, Google has provided some key information on how they could get in contact with that site’s webmaster and request that the image be removed there as well.

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