Google has removed private medical records from its search results, Bloomberg reports, after quietly changing its policy on content removal. On Thursday, the company’s search policy was amended to include “confidential, personal medical records of private people” under a list of content it may remove from search results.
Although Google has historically been reluctant to intervene with its search algorithms, it has banned some confidential material from appearing in results, such as credit card numbers, bank account information, and social security numbers. In 2015, the company began removing revenge porn from search results, as well.
The decision to remove medical records follows several high-profile data breaches around the world. Information on tens of millions of people was stolen following a 2015 hack targeting Anthem, the second-largest insurer in the US. Between 2010 and 2013, approximately 29 million medical records in the US were affected by data breaches, according to a study released in 2015.