Google is implementing a new process to allow minors to remove their images from Google search

Google wants to give children and parents more control over how their image is used online, with a new, simplified process for people under the age of 18 to request the removal of their images from Google search results.

According to Google:

“While we are already providing a range of options for people who want to remove content from Search, we know that children and teens have to cope with some unique online challenges, especially when their image is unexpectedly available online. With newly implemented politics, anyone under the age of 18, or their parent or guardian, can now request the removal of their images from search results by following a few simple steps. This means that these images will not appear on the Images tab or as thumbnails in any function in Google Search. ”

The process is fairly simple – users requesting that their image be removed from search results can go to this link and fill out a removal request form.

Users will need to enter the URL of the image, as well as the URLs of all pages that contain the image. Google also searches for search terms that return an image result, to the best of your knowledge, in order to gain complete insight into what needs to be removed from Search.

From there, Google will evaluate the request and advise on progress. Google also notes, however, that removing from search results is not equivalent to completely removing an image, and users will also need to contact individual websites to remove them.

The update comes as part of a broader shift toward protecting users at Google, in line with evolving privacy restrictions – and in particular EU laws regarding the protection of digital identities and the misuse of personal data held online.

EU laws on the ‘right to forget’ have forced all platforms to adjust their privacy policy, while the US Congress is also considering new regulations regarding exposing minors online, another factor in this latest shift. Google also introduced new regulations for young YouTube users in August.

It will be interesting to see if the change will eventually lead to an increase in removal requests and whether this could affect websites that use UGC or other types of content, and unknowingly involve people who would not prefer to be featured on their site.

For marketers, this will put more emphasis on getting explicit permission from people to incorporate their image into their promotions and to take more precautions with younger people in such promotions. Otherwise, you could risk seeing Google penalties, which could affect your referral traffic.

You can learn more about Google’s new removal process here.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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