Removal Policies

We want to organize the world’s information, but some content on the web is sensitive or not appropriate for everyone to see. This page explains our policies for different types of content that Google will remove from web, image or video results.

Financial and Government-Issued Identification Numbers

We recognize that certain pieces of sensitive personal information can, if made public, put you at greater risk for identity theft, financial fraud, and other harm.

When it will help keep you safe and avoid harm, we may remove personal information from Google Search results.

Information we may remove

  • National identification numbers like U.S. Social Security Number, Argentina Single Tax Identification Number, Brazil Cadastro de pessoas Físicas, Korea Resident Registration Number, China Resident Identity Card, etc.
  • Bank account numbers
  • Credit card numbers
  • Images of signatures

Information we usually don’t remove

  • Date of birth
  • Addresses
  • Telephone numbers
How we decide if personal information should be removed

To decide if a piece of personal information creates significant risks of identity theft, financial fraud, or other specific harms, we ask:

  • Is it a government-issued identification number?
  • Is it confidential, or is it publicly available information?
  • Can it be used for common financial transactions?
  • Can it be used to obtain more information about an individual that would result in financial harm or identity theft?

We apply this removals policy on a case-by-case basis. If we believe that a removal request is being used to try and remove other, non-personal information from search results, we will deny the request.

We usually don’t remove information that can be found on official government websites because the information is publicly available.

Request to have personal information removed

Offensive images

Some images and videos can be offensive, especially if you haven't specifically asked for them in your search results. We do our best to remove offensive images and videos or hide them in search results. Depending on the situation, we may take one of the three actions below to remove offensive content from your results.

Remove images or videos from the results page

We remove images or videos from our search results if they include:

  • Personal information, as described above
  • Child sexual abuse imagery

We also remove images and videos for legal reasons, such as valid copyright notifications that meet the requirements of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Remove image and video thumbnails from search results

We may remove images or videos, or prevent them from showing in search results if the content contains:

  • Pornography, including search queries with multiple meanings and search queries that are not offensive but could have offensive results
  • Bodily functions or bodily fluids
  • Vulgar words
  • Graphic content, including: injuries and medical conditions, depictions of death and human body parts
  • Animal cruelty or violence
Filter offensive content with the SafeSearch filter

When SafeSearch is turned on in your Google Account, it primarily filters pornographic images.

With SafeSearch, we filter images and videos that contain:

  • Frontal nudity
  • Graphic sex or sexual acts
  • Artistic images and videos that focus on genitals or graphic sex

We do not filter images or videos that contain:

  • Nudity that is medical, scientific or educational. For example, images of breastfeeding babies.
  • A focus on a bare or scantily clad buttocks.
  • Content where genitals are not the focus. For example, depictions of the Kama Sutra.
  • Content depicting sexual fetishes and sexual themes that does not include nudity. For example, pop stars dressed in bondage gear.

SafeSearch does not automatically filter for violent content. We may manually filter images of extremely graphic violence so that they don’t show up in search results.

page author courtney

Courtney is a Search expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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