Google Offers New Tool For Minors To Request Removal From Search Results

( Last Wednesday, Google announced that minors will be able to request that images of themselves be removed from their search engine.

Any person under the age of 18, or their parents or guardians, will be able to request that images be removed from search results. They will simply need to fill out a new form, reporting the image and explaining why they want it to be removed.

Google’s team will then review each request and ask for any additional information if they need it and verify that it meets the requirements for it to be removed from search. They will then notify users once the image has been removed.

“We believe this change will help give young people more control over their digital footprint and where their images can be found on Search,” Google announced in a blog post.

And if you thought that Google has suddenly developed a soul and decided to do this out of the goodness of their hearts…well…no. This is actually a result of congressional pressure.

Democratic Senators Ed Market and Richard Blumenthal held a press conference on Wednesday calling for more action to protect children from the harm the Internet can cause. They discussed the Children and Teens Online Privacy Protection Act, also known as COPPA 2.0, to protect the privacy of children online. Congress more generally has also increased scrutiny over Google and other tech companies’ policies regarding safety for children.

Under the Democrats’ proposed new legislation, companies would be required to create an “eraser button” that allows parents and children to delete all of their information online. And while it sounds good, it may not be entirely effective.

Google, Apple, Facebook, and other Big Tech companies with social media and online platforms that children use might be able to easily delete this information, but other websites and platforms operated overseas are unlikely to comply with these new rules in the same way.

Nonetheless, it sounds like a great idea to give people a chance to delete their online information if it was handed over to Big Tech companies when they were under the age of 18…