On January 21, 2016, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dramatically expanded the scope of legal privacy protection – and the liability exposure for breaching it. For the first time, a Canadian court expressly recognized a new privacy-based legal claim: “public disclosure of private facts” – and awarded real monetary compensation for it. The decision demonstrates the law’s ability to keep pace with new kinds of misconduct (especially where it cries out for a legal remedy, like cyberbullying). But it also increases the liability exposure for data breaches by businesses that are the custodians of sensitive personal information, particularly if they have it “in confidence” – which implicitly includes any information held under the Personal Information and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). It’s now much easier for those whose privacy is breached by such businesses to sue – and to get potentially significant compensation.
Learn about this new legal claim and how businesses as well as cyberbullies are exposed to liability for it in McInnes Cooper’s Legal Alert: The Law Keeps Pace – The Business Implications of the New Civil Privacy Claim for “Public Disclosure of Private Facts” in Doe 464533 v. D. You can read more of McInnes Cooper’s Legal Publications at http://www.mcinnescooper.com/publications/.
McInnes Cooper prepared this article for information; it is not legal advice. Consult McInnes Cooper before acting on it. McInnes Cooper excludes all liability for anything contained in or any use of this article. © McInnes Cooper, 2015. All rights reserved.
About the authors:
David Fraser is a lawyer with McInnes Cooper and leads its Privacy Law Team. David is recognized as a foremost Canadian technology and privacy lawyer and regularly advises a range of clients – from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies – on all aspects of technology and privacy laws. You can reach David at firstname.lastname@example.org.