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Canada Dashboard Digest | Notes from the IAPP Canada Managing Director, December 1, 2017 Related reading: Privacy inspection tool finds ad trackers on sensitive nonprofit websites



Well, there’s plenty of news this week. Pour your coffee and start catching up.

I’m not going to pick the stories that are the most important, because, quite frankly, I think most of them are the type of thing a Canadian privacy pro should be keeping up to speed with.

But, if I could mention just one, I’m going to refer to the case about the woman in Ottawa who won a small claims court decision for invasion of privacy. Unbeknownst to her, a video crew filmed her jogging in a trendy neighborhood and then used that video as part of a marketing campaign for a real estate developer that was selling properties in the same neighborhood.

Obviously, the woman did not consent.

Quite remarkably, the defendant in the lawsuit tried to argue that the woman did not have a privacy claim because she was in public. The court didn’t buy it and the defendants were ordered to pay $4,000 and change in damages.

I think the decision is interesting and it, for sure, sends a message that the law will step up and protect privacy rights when the circumstances call for it. However, we have a fundamental legal principle in Canada that says if Parliament has enacted legislation that covers a particular situation, you’re supposed to use that legislation to advance your remedy. In this case, it seems clear to me that PIPEDA ought to have applied, so I’m left with the curious thought of why the court didn’t tell the woman that she first had to exhaust her remedies under that law as opposed to the common law tort of invasion of privacy. Maybe it’s because the court recognized that the PIPEDA route (i.e., going through an investigation and then a federal court case) was not as efficient as the small claims court route. I guess that’s telling in and of itself. Certainly this was a case that got a lot of media, social media and privacy listserv traffic this week. Many interesting points of view. 

Enjoy catching up on the news and enjoy your weekend.


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