Gee, Thanks: Google Will Allow Minors to Request Pictures of Themselves Be Removed from Search

Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome, speaks at Google's annual developer conference, Google I/O, in San Francisco on 28 June 2012
KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/GettyImages

Google recently announced that it plans to allow minors to request the removal of images of themselves from the company’s search engine.

The Hill reports that Google announced this week that it plans to allow minors to request to remove images of themselves from the company’s search engine. Minors under the age of 18 can request that images on search results be removed by filling out a form, Google stated in a blog post.

schoolkids using smartphones

schoolkids using smartphones ( dolgachov/Getty)

Sabo mocks Google CEO Sundar Pichai

Sabo mocks Google CEO Sundar Pichai (unsavoryagents.com)

Google stated that a team of moderators will review each request and contact users for any additional information that may be needed to verify that the image meets the requirements for removal. “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 said in the post.

The announcement comes shortly after Congress announced that it would be scrutinizing how tech companies respond to worries surrounding children’s safety and privacy online. On Wednesday, Sens. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) held a press conference in which they called for action on their Children and Teens Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA 2.0) that aims to improve children’s online privacy protections. 

The proposal called for tech companies to create an “eraser button” that would allow parents and kids to remove a minor’s personal information from the internet. The proposal would also prohibit companies from collecting information from users aged between 13 and 15-years-old without the user’s consent. The bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and has received bipartisan support.

Sen. Markey stated on Wednesday:

These companies can’t say they’re different from Facebook when their algorithms do the same thing, when their business model is based on the same thing — targeting kids and teens, hooking them early and pushing toxic content to them.

Big Tech has lost our trust. It has forfeited the benefit of the doubt. Congress can no longer wait to act, whether the Big Tech likes it or not. We need to pass this legislation now to protect kids online.

Read more at the Hill here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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