Nov 202014
 November 20, 2014  Posted by  Non-U.S.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada posted a case summary under “early and resolved cases” that caught my eye:

Web posting that was removed by individual retained by Internet search engine

Complaint summary

An individual posted her résumé on a job website. She later had the website remove the information. However, the individual was very surprised when she realized that, even though it was no longer on the job website, her résumé was still searchable via an Internet search engine, which included her address in the online description.

The individual contacted the search engine’s Web administrator several times and asked that it delete all her personal information associated with her résumé posting. The search engine did not comply. She then filed a complaint with our Office.


Our Office dealt directly with the search engine, who then removed the cached copy of the individual’s information from its search results, using its URL removal tool, which is available for use by members of the public.

The complainant was satisfied that the information had been completely removed and we closed her complaint.

The reason the case caught my eye was simple: what government agency in the United States, would do that for an American resident? Yes, maybe the complainant should have figured out the url removal tool, and perhaps the search engine could have been prompter or more helpful in removing the cached copy, but a federal privacy office tried to assist its citizen. What office would an American contact to get help with a privacy complaint like that?


  One Response to “Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada contacts search engine over individual’s complaint”

  1. hmm, yes one would have to know the “url removal tool” exists. Let’s assume this is google. Then one would have to create a google account linking their email, IP, and whatever else to the content involved in order to even use the tool. Not sure that matters much, but it annoyed me when I had to do something similar via google and link some of my info to it in order to have it removed.

    Personally, I didn’t even know this url removal tool exists till now and till this post. Ever contact google before due to anything privacy related? I have. They replied to me *exactly* one year after the fact. When I replied back they never bothered again since they told me privacy issues take up too much of their time and I wasn’t worth it. And that is google.

    So good for the privacy commissioner and good for the woman involved.

    Makes me wonder though, how long did this lady wait to have it resolved versus the 2 minutes it would have taken google to point her to the link removal tool?

    People and privacy are not worth googles time and effort, as they once told me.

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