Privacy – 1 Step Forward, 1 Step Back

Getting the privacy balance right is not easy, from both theoretical and practical perspectives. As examples, here are some recent developments that go both ways.

Pro Privacy

  • Proposed Bill C-12 amendments to PIPEDA that would mandate privacy breach notification in certain circumstances.
  • The Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Jones v Tsige that created a tort of breach of privacy, or “intrusion upon seclusion” for intentional, offensive privacy invasions.
  • The US Supreme court decision in US v Jones that decided police need to get a warrant before attaching a GPS tracking device to a vehicle.

Anti Privacy

  • Proposed Bill C-12 amendments to PIPEDA that encourage private entities to give personal information to law enforcement without warrants.
  • Proposed “Lawful Accesslegislation that allows police to obtain a significant amount of information about our mobile phone and internet accounts without a warrant, and would require ISP’s to retain certain information about us.
  • The Supreme Court of Canada’s refusal to hear the appeal of the Leon’s case where the Alberta Court of Appeal said that license plates are not personal information.


  1. David Collier-Brown

    Elsewhere, the EU proposes moving toward more privacy, described