Google has introduced a new policy that gives kids and teens under 18, along with their parents or guardians, the ability to request the removal of their photos from Google Image results.
Photo removal options already exist with Google and users of all ages have been able to request that their personal information, including images, be removed from search results. But there were limits as to what could be removed. Photos had to fit into “non-consensual explicit imagery” or “doxxing content” categories — even for minors.
But now the process is streamlined for anyone under 18 in an effort to make their online experience safer. In the coming weeks, when you Google your child’s name, you’ll be able to request to remove any photos of them that pop up, and they can do the same. You don’t need a reason other than they’re under 18.
In a blog post, Google notes that removing an image from the search engine doesn’t remove it from the internet altogether, but an image won’t be as accessible if it can’t be found on Google.
Google announced a few more updates to safeguard people under 18, most of which have to do with changing the default settings. For example, new videos that are uploaded on accounts of teens ages 13 to 17 will automatically default to private uploads where content can only be seen by the user and whoever they choose.
For more on Google’s safety updates for minors, check out the blog post.