Explicit Instructions for Removing Personal Medical Records from the Google Search Engine

It was a little unnerving to scroll through technology news and find a headline with a *how to* for removing your private medical records from Google. No, no, no, nooooooo! How can that condition even exist in the first place? I immediately opened a Google search window and scoured for anything relating to my personal medical records and….


Found nothing. It doesn’t matter. The fact I had to check in the first place is extremely disturbing. How could private medical records have potentially found their way to being indexed and exposed on the internet’s largest search engine?

Remember those disturbing news headlines during these past couple of years blaring reports of breaches into electronic heath records at one resource or another? Ummmm, yah - there was Anthem’s breach of 80 million records in 2015, and millions and millions more have been stolen through from too many health resources numerous times since then.

Well, the ugly reality of all these breaches is there is way too much personal information loose in the wild and some of that data has been placed in environments where it could be slurped up Google and perhaps other search engines. Seriously???!!! The awful answer is, "Yup."

For instance, at the tail end of 2016 records for more than 43,000 patients who had their personal information, medical records and HIV blood test results exposed on a website that was indexed by Google. After dealing with a minor uproar from those affected, Google decided it would revisit its *hands-off* approach to editing search engine returns. :::scoffs::: How generous of them.

So, should you perform a Google search and find any of your most private and inappropriately posted information located in results … there are now ways you can have it removed. But, there’s an annoying, tedious process you have to go through and Google can't give you a 100% guarantee the results will be deleted. Forms to be filled out, procedures and all that. Justification that it just doesn’t belong, etc. Maybe you’ll be able to convince them it doesn’t belong. Maybe not. :::eyes to the ceiling:::

When you do discover just how much of your personal information really is available with a simple search, good luck trying to get anything that isn’t medical record related removed from the search returns. You see, if you are registered to vote, that information is publicly available through your Secretary of State's office and unscrupulous sites have snagged and posted that information on the web for whatever ungoodly reasons they might try to rationalize.

Some of you may want to explore utilizing services that assist in the removal of information you believe has no rightful place on the internet. In fact …. that's exactly what I'm going to start doing right now...

Story Resources

Google to Remove Private Medical Records From Search Results

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