Last week, Google decided to change its Removal Policies for the first time since 2015, and eliminated medical records from the list of search results. They labeled this kind of information as private, and you it will no longer pop up among the results while browsing.
Personal medical records are now off the search list
Before this change was adopted, people could actually find medical records of private people among the results while they were searching for information on Google. However, the company realized this kind of data is much too sensitive and personal, so now you won’t stumble upon such info any more.
This adds to a series of other kinds of data or images labeled as private. The Removal Policies include identification numbers, bank accounts, signatures, or compromising pictures displaying nudity or explicit content which end up online without the subject’s consent. This kind of images are included in what is known as revenge porn.
These restrictions keep people’s privacy safe
Google said they wanted to offer all kinds of information, and make it easier for people to access anything they want. However, there is certain data which should stay private and, if it ends up online, it is their duty to remove it. Protecting ID and bank numbers was important for maintaining people’s privacy, but keeping medical records safe is also vital.
Such information is sensitive, since it puts people in danger of having their identity stolen, since it exposes birthdays or home addresses. Also, medical insurance companies and hospitals have recently been victims of massive data leaks, so Google decided to do everything it can to diminish this damage.
The last time Google made a change on their policies was in 2015, when they included revenge porn on the list. Even so, the company is trying not to censor too much so, before removing a piece of information from their search list, it looks at dozens of criteria to make sure it threatens the privacy of a person.
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