Looking for Advice on how to Remove a Canadian Government Website with my Personal Information from Google Search Results or even entirely

Hello there, I am looking for some help with removing a website, if possible, from the Google search results (or even entirely) of my name that contains my personal information. I tried using the Google “request personal content removal” tool/form, but was informed that they would not remove it from search results as it is publicly available on a government website.

The personal information in question is a letter I authored to the Canadian government more than a decade ago when I was a minor as part of a school assignment. My teacher at the time was really into activism, and the letter was of a protest nature. I was not informed that the letter would be publicly posted on the internet, or I wouldn’t have included as much personal information as I did. The letter is also strongly worded and critical in nature. The link to said letter went dead many many years ago so I thought that was the last of that. This past month though a new link appeared in Google search results when searching my name, with the letter in all its glory and no redactions, downloadable as a pdf.

Is contacting the webmaster of the site as Google suggests my only recourse? Somehow I doubt they’ll take me seriously if these are the same people who had both the time and audacity to scan, re-upload and OCR letters written by minors more than a decade ago without any redactions of personal information. At this point, I wouldn’t even put it past them to add insult to injury by publicly posting my removal request, probably on some bs grounds like “transparency”. If doing that is my only recourse, what would I even write? Are there any templates out there for removal requests? I would want it to sound professional.

I greatly appreciate any help or advice on this. Thanks.

I wonder if you can do a DCMA request to the website ?

1 Like

Not advice, so you can skip this part if need be. But I definitely feel the annoyance of school being a big issue during one’s privacy journey. I don’t know how we got to where we are, but it’s very annoying to know that I probably have dozens of online accounts with my personal information attached to it just because my school required it. It’s frustrating.

Advice section:

As you stated in your post about the Streisand effect, there is a possibility that trying to redact your personal information from the internet only brings it more attention (via their adding insult to injury), so I’m not sure.

One thing you can do (though not necessarily something you should do) is to create “noise”. Populating the internet with false personal information might allow your real personal information to hide. I don’t know much about how this is achieved because I’ve never done it, but you might consider it as a last (and permanent) resort. If you do go this route, be sure to really think about it so that you do not regret it. If anyone more knowledgeable about this can reply, that would be cool. I know that it was discussed on this forum before, but I can’t seem to find the right terms to search.

1 Like

Easy, Google takedown request for the website saying it was shared without your consent when you were a minor. They’ll take it down. Add some extra BS to the request too.

1 Like

As others have said, a Google content removal request will probably work.

Removing it at the source would be best, and that may be possible. I looked for relevant privacy law in Canada and found one bit which may apply. Here is an excerpt from the notes to a 2000 speech by Canada’s Privacy Commissioner:

My main responsibility is to supervise the application of the federal Privacy Act . The Act regulates how federal government institutions collect, use and disclose personal information. It also provides individuals with a right of access to information held about them by the federal government, and a right to request correction of any erroneous information.

That last bit – your right to request a correction – seems like a possible venue for getting it removed.

1 Like

My understanding of the way you should approach this is as follows. Please note, I am not a lawyer, just a non-specialist with average or better reading comprehension skills.

You should contact the department who’s site hosts the offending letter directly. Just contact them and state your case, requesting they remove the file. Hopefully they will simply honor your request. If they refuse to, or take too long (over a month?) to reply, file a complaint with the Office of the Privacy Comissioner.


If they are reluctant, just ask them to redact your PII, ie replace your name with “A student of x school”. Ofc one could still do an archive, but at this point is too late anyway as you just did a thread on a public forum where anyone with OSINT skills can find this letter in less than an hour.


I doubt it, as it was just a childhood school assignment, not some professional level work. Though I’m welcome to suggestions if I’m mistaken on how DMCA applies and works.

Pretty sure that’s what I already tried as per my original post and was denied. Unless your referring to a very specific type of request that’s different from the one I did?

I may try this. Thanks for the info.

Like I said add a bunch of BS to the takedown request. Add that you are a victim of stalking, identity theft, etc. This works for getting legit news articles removed as well.