Photos-and-privacy

Private photos of you making the rounds on Google Images could have this headline belonging to you. A colleague of mine while researching was surprised to see the detail that photos revealed about our private lives. Curiously, she put in her own name to find photos she never knew were public being widely circulated on Google Images from her private Pinterest account. She’s not alone. Removing them successfully can be tricky, but may be worth a little effort.

3 Quick & Easy tricks to remove your private photos from Google Images

What you can do.

1

Check the Privacy Settings of photo sites such as Facebook, Shutterfly, Snapfish, Pinterest, Instagram etc. for source of your photo to remove it.
-or-
If you didn’t post the photos, ask the site where they are being shown to remove them.

2

Remove it from Google. In certain circumstances, Google’s image removal policy will make exceptions and do the dirty work of cleaning up your unflattering photos.

Here is the page that Google offers to remove an image. https://support.google.com/websearch/troubleshooter/3111061

3

What Google says it will remove on a case-by-case basis.

Offensive Images
Google 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

Images Google will remove include photos revealing the following:
• National identification numbers like U.S. Social Security numbers
• Bank account numbers
• Credit card numbers
• Images of signatures
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?

Source: Google’s policy on removal of images https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/2744324?hl=en

 

Additional Notes:

  • In many cases, photo sharing sites other than image results in Google offer the ability for you to flag any inappropriate pictures for their removal.
  • Since Google reviews image removal on a case by case basis, it pays to find a reason why your private photo you wish removed falls within one of the areas that google usually sides with for removal.