For the longest time, Google has had a lazy approach to policing the web and search results, but as Google started to grow and become the default search engine for the world, governments and other agencies have started to pressure the company to be more “responsible” with what kind of search results it puts online.
So Google has created categories of content which they would not display in search results. Like revenge porn for example, or content that has been flagged as copyright, etc. Now Google has quietly added a new category and it is that of personal medical records.
The change can be found on Google’s policy page with a new line that reads, “confidential, personal medical records of private people,”. A Google spokeswoman confirmed the changes and says that information is only pulled when they get specific requests from individuals, which sounds kind of like DMCA takedown requests.
Back in 2016 a pathology lab in India accidentally uploaded records of their patients online, which Google then indexed in its search results automatically. So this policy lets Google reassure users that if their medical records somehow get published online, they can at least have it taken down from search results if they object.