Chances are, if you type your name in
Find tickets that you didn't know or that exist. From web pages with personal data such as your address or phone to photographs that at the time did not worry upload to
. And even accounts that I created in applications that I barely got to use. As you browse and share information on the web, you leave a trail that anyone in the world can access without getting off the couch.
Deleting the fingerprint completely is complicated. But there are options to eliminate and keep track of the personal information that appears on you on the Internet.
Everything a user writes on social networks, blogs, forums or other services can appear on the Internet. It is possible to edit or delete much of this fingerprint manually. "To locate this content, it is best to go to Google and find yourself, writing your name and your last name in quotes, then go with great patience, eliminating all that information," explains Fernando Surez, president of the Council of Computer Engineering Colleges (CCII) of Spain.
The user can delete one by one each account that he has created in social networks and other services. But there are tools that make work easier. For example,
Deseat.me offers you a list of all the accounts that a person has created with a specific email and allows you to request their removal with the push of a button. In the meantime,
AccountKiller collects direct links to facilitate any user
You can delete your account on sites like Gmail, Instagram, Netflix or Microsoft. "You want to get rid of your online account? It shouldn't be a problem, right? Unfortunately, on many sites, including popular ones
Like Facebook, deleting your account can be a real pain, "he explains on his own website.
"Completely removing the fingerprint is practically impossible: once we publish information on the Internet we lose control over it and we don't know who can access it and for what purpose," says Surez. For him, "once we publish something on the web, we lose control over that content." He gives the following example: "If we publish a photo on a social network and subsequently delete it, we cannot be sure that people who have accessed this photo have not published it on other websites and, therefore, its deletion is much more complicated. "
How to delete the information that appears on the Internet
In addition, the European law of the right to forget allows you to directly ask Google to disinvest certain information. That is, when someone uses the search engine, a specific website does not appear among the results. There is a form to do it. The user must indicate one by one which links he wishes to be removed and indicate the reason.
Google may withdraw personal information that poses a significant risk of identity theft, financial fraud or other specific damage. This is stated by Surez: "For example, identification numbers such as the DNI or health card information, bank account numbers or credit cards, medical records, signature images or photographs of explicit sexual content uploaded to the web without our consent ".
But the option to ask Google to delete certain information has its limitations. Juana Mara Perea, dean of the Official College of Computer Engineering of the Balearic Islands, notes that filling out the form does not guarantee that the data will be deindexed. The Mountain View company reviews the links one by one and chooses whether to de-index them or not. "When packing an application, in Google we look for the balance between the rights to privacy of the affected users, the public interest that this information may have and the right of other users to distribute it," says the technology giant on its website.
For example, the company may refuse to withdraw information about financial scams, professional negligence, criminal convictions or official conduct. In addition, this form only guarantees the withdrawal of data within the European Union. Therefore, the data will continue to appear in the international versions of the search engine.
Other search engines
Google is the undisputed leader of search engines. In 2018, 96% of users' searches are monopolized, according to Statista. They are followed by Bing, with 3%, and Yahoo, with 1%. Even so, experts recommend controlling what appears in these alternatives. "The above process is only applicable to Google. Yahoo and Bing have their own form to exercise our right to disappear from the network," says Perea. In both search engines, if they accept the request, the content will only be removed in Europe.
Both Perea and Surez agree on the importance of controlling which websites you sign up for. The president of the CCII advises, first of all, "prudence before using the Internet tools": "Not only of those in which we publish information directly, such as blogs or social networks, but of the trail we leave, for example, when searching or browsing. " In this sense, it is recommended to eliminate cookies periodically, use VPNs (virtual private network, for its acronym in English) or opt for alternative Google search engines designed to navigate without a trace.
. How to delete personal data that should not be on the Internet – LA NACION