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Privacy Issues - Watch Out!
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  1. Privacy Issues - Watch Out! John D.R. Craig ORIMS Professional Development Day March 19, 2013

  2. The Issue • Privacy is one of the most important developing legal issues • Do we still have any Privacy? Are we entitled to expect any Privacy?

  3. The Issue • Regulation of Privacy is a mixed bag • Information privacy legislation (PIPEDA) • Statutory privacy tort legislation (not in Ontario) • Emerging common law privacy tort • Human Rights Code (anti-discrimination)

  4. The Issue • What is Privacy? • “Right to be left alone” • Private interests: informational, corporeal, territorial, temporal • Reasonableness • Consent

  5. The Issue • Leading Privacy Issues • Surveillance • Background checks (criminal, credit, etc.) • Drug and alcohol testing • Medical information • Searches • Misuse of email/internet/social media • Cross-border transfer of information

  6. The Issue • Sources of Liability • Direct liability for policies or actions taken • Vicarious liability for the actions of employees

  7. PIPEDA • Information Privacy legislation exists federally and in BC, AB and QB • PIPEDA is the federal law applicable to Ontario’s private sector: • “Commercial activities” are regulated: purpose of making a profit • No application to provincially regulated employment per se

  8. PIPEDA • Key Privacy principles: • Consent • Limiting Collection • Limiting Use, Disclosure, and Retention • Safeguards • Accuracy

  9. Enforcing PIPEDA • Privacy Commissioner of Canada • Complaint • Investigation • Directives • Federal Court • PCC can apply to the Court to convert directive into an order • Trial de novo

  10. PIPEDA Cases in the Federal Court • The Federal Court has often been the voice of reason: • Eastmond v. Canadian Pacific Railway (2004) • Turner v. TELUS (2005) • State Farm (2010)

  11. Tort of Invasion of Privacy • The Privacy tort has now arrived in Ontario: • Somwar v. McDonald’s Restaurants (2006) • Jones v. Tsige (2012)

  12. Tort of Invasion of Privacy • Implications • A new and additional source of Privacy liability • Applies to provincially regulated employment • High test should provide some comfort

  13. Social Media – The New Frontier • Privacy in Social Media – Is there any? • A new source of risk that is difficult to regulate and control – examples: • Mocking customers • Criticizing managers • Posting private or confidential information

  14. Social Media – The New Frontier • Use of Social Media in hiring – beware • Personal information may be irrelevant to hiring decisions • Exposure to potential discrimination claims

  15. Best Practices – Managing Risks • Implement and enforce policies and practices on: • Respect for Privacy principles in PIPEDA(e.g. Consent, Non-Disclosure, Access) • Personal use of electronic systems • Social media posting • Ethics in dealing with colleagues and customers

  16. Best Practices – Managing Risks • Be transparent about policies and practices with respect to collection, storage and use of personal information • Conduct periodic training on personal information policies and practices

  17. Best Practices – Managing Risks • Catalogue the personal information collected and stored on systems (i.e. know what you have) • Conduct periodic audits of compliance with Privacy principles

  18. Best Practices – Managing Risk • Keep up to date on developments in Privacy law, emerging Privacy issues, and best practices • HeenanBlaikie sources include: • AccessPrivacy.ca • HeenanBlaikie.com/en/Expertise/Privacy-and-Information-Management

  19. Conclusion THANK YOU!