Posted in Canadian Privacy

From the Regulator

Stage Is Set for a Challenging Year for Privacy in Canada

Shakespeare wrote in The Tempest that “What’s past is prologue,” and this notion definitely holds true when we consider the most significant privacy issues for Canadians in 2014. Issues such as government surveillance and massive data breaches that pushed privacy to centre stage last year—prompting Dictionary.com to make “privacy” its word of the year—will undoubtedly continue to be hot issues. But we can also expect to see a plethora of challenging new issues flowing from the intersection of technology and privacy. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has been closely examining several new technological issues as part of our recent research efforts—precisely because we expect they will raise important privacy issues in Canada in the year ahead and beyond.

Here is a glance at some of the key issues on our watch list:

More from Chantal Bernier

Opinion

Lost

In early January, 2013, over half a million young Canada professionals awoke to discover—via online newspaper or blog most likely—that the personal information they handed over to the government as part of their university student loan application had been compromised.  Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) admitted that anyone who was a client of the Canada Student Loans programs from 2000 to 2006 was at risk. More recently, in April 2013, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization (IIROC) admitted that the personal information of 52,000 clients from dozens of investment firms had equally been compromised. In both cases massive reputational damage and high-profile lawsuits has ensued.

How did this happen, you might wonder? 

More from Daniel Horovitz

Opinion

Did We Get The Right Privacy Tort?

As Canadian privacy professionals will know, 2012 saw a significant development in Canadian tort law with respect to privacy. While some lower courts have recognized an “invasion of privacy” tort or said there might be one, higher courts refused to countenance the existence of such a tort until the Ontario Court of Appeal did so in Jones v. Tsige.

More from Michael Power