Fearon: Police Searches & Mobile Phones

Today, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) issued a significant decision with respect to another piece of technology that we commonly carry on our person – mobile phones. The court in R. v. Fearon addressed whether the police can search such phones under the common law power to “search incident to a lawful arrest”. In doing so, the […]

R.v Spencer: Reasonable Expectation of Privacy

Who knew six months could pass so quickly? The last blog post seemed like yesterday. After getting the shoulder better and renewing an intent to blog on a more regular basis, here is part 2 of the R v. Spencer blog post. In the last post, my focus was on the meaning of “lawful authority”. […]

Spencer, PIPEDA & Lawful Authority

A busy practice combined with a very bad shoulder injury will, regretfully, move blogging down the priority list. As we reach mid-2014 there have been a few interesting privacy law developments this year but, in my view, no real “blockbusters”. That all changed today. Today, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) came out with R […]

Toronto Hydro Surveillance?

I can’t help but think there’s a movie in this somewhere. Love, devotion and allegations of betrayal are all present. Mix in smart meters and privacy and it becomes obvious why I’m blogging about this. It’s quite a fascinating story and it comes from, of all places, an unpublished Ontario IPC report, issued in September […]

Health Privacy: Is PHIPA the only game in town?

There is a new and interesting decision out of Peterborough that raises but doesn’t answer a lot of questions. These questions revolve around the intersection of PHIPA, class action law and tort law. This is not something you see everyday although we may have to wait awhile before the dust (and the law) settles. 

FATCA: Charter Challenge?

The federal government has now solved a major problem for Canada’s banks by entering into an intergovernmental agreement concerning FATCA with the United States. The details about the privacy implications of FATCA can be found in previous posts here, here and here. With this agreement, the “end game” of FATCA compliance for Canada appears close at hand and there’s an important […]

Yukon’s Health Information Legislation

Canada’s Yukon Territory joins other domestic jurisdictions in moving to implement personal health information legislation. The Health Information Privacy and Management Act, introduced in November, is now in second reading. Leaving aside the trend to including EHR governance in personal health information statutes, there are some intriguing aspects to the bill not found in other statutes […]

“Personal Information” in Canada: Is Change Coming?

Alberta’s PIPA was recently declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) in Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner) v. United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401. In reading the decision, the issue appears to be the broad, circular definition of “personal information” in that statute. Since a similar definition of personal information is found in the federal, BC […]

Privacy, Computers & Search Warrants

The Supreme Court of Canada issued another privacy-related decision last week. Not only is it a significant refinement of search and seizure law it is also, with apologies to Pink Floyd, another “brick in the wall” with respect to building privacy rights in the context of computing devices.

Corporate Conduct & Privacy Damages

The privacy bar sat up and took notice last week of a decision out of Halifax that upped the ante when it comes to PIPEDA damage awards. The case is more about “reprehensible conduct” than “harm suffered” and one question that immediately comes to mind is whether it represents an evolution in judicial thinking about […]

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