THE COURT is the online resource for debate & data about the Supreme Court of Canada.*

Archive For Entries On Privacy

Safeguarding Online Anonymity: R v Spencer Revisited

Last month, TheCourt.ca senior contributing editor Jordan Casey analyzed R v Spencer, 2014 SCC 43, a case that clarifies the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) position on what constitutes a reasonable expectation of privacy in the digital age. This post further explores one of the themes touched on by Casey—the nature and significance of the […]

The Reasonable Expectation of Privacy in the Information Age: R v Spencer

On June 13, 2014, Cromwell J., in R v Spencer, 2014 SCC 43, gave a ruling on whether or not Matthew David Spencer had a reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to his subscriber information. Contrary to the decision of the trial judge, Cromwell J. concluded that since “[t]he disclosure of the subscriber information will […]

SCC Continues to Navigate the Tension Between Labour Relations and Privacy in Bernard v Canada

Last November, the Supreme Court of Canada decided that Alberta’s Personal Information Protection Act, SA 2003 c P-6.5, which, inter alia, had the effect of preventing unions from filming individuals crossing a picket line, was an unjustifiable violation of the constitutional right to freedom of expression (for more, see the commentary by Avnish Nanda and Brock […]

Metadata and the Fourth Amendment

The American National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk metadata collection program has been the subject of considerable scrutiny ever since The Guardian revealed the program’s existence last summer as part of its reporting on leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Perhaps the most salient legal issue regarding the metadata program is whether it violates the […]

BULLETIN: SCC Declares Alberta’s Personal Information Protection Act Unconstitutional, Affirms Freedom of Expression in Labour Context

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of Canada in Alberta v United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401 2013 SCC 62 declares Alberta’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) to be unconstitutional, as it breaches a union’s freedom of expression, protected under s. 2(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedom, and cannot be justified under s. 1. Despite […]

If it’s about pregnancy, it’s about women: Ivana Levkovic v Her Majesty the Queen

On October 10th, 2012 the Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments in the case of Ivana Levkovic v Her Majesty the Queen. The next day, the SCC heard arguments in the case of Her Majesty the Queen v ADH. Both cases involved women who had left their foetuses after giving birth. In Levkovic, the foetus […]

Law Enforcement Wins at the Expense of Internet Privacy in R v Ward

Yesterday, after weeks of incessant prodding by Apple, I finally decided to upgrade to the latest version of iTunes. Before doing so, however, a window emerged before me with a dizzying and seemingly endless block of text. Like most people faced with an ominous set of “Terms and Conditions,” I scrolled directly to the bottom […]

Expression Trumps Privacy: UFCW v Alberta

The one-two punch of the Quebec government trying to control the student strikes and the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) being threatened with back to work legislature have turned Canadian attention to the state of union workers. The rights and privileges of workers when on strike have become a constant stream of headlines. Another controversial union […]

Amici Curiae: Privacy on Twitter, the Chief Justice on Access to Justice, and the Trouble with Troublesome Clients

Twitter Ordered to Hand Over User’s Private Information The nature of privacy rights in the digital age are being challenged once again after a judge in the United States ordered the social media site Twitter to surrender information that was allegedly obtained by hacking into police websites to the Boston district attorney. The decision came […]

Amici Curiae: The Reaction to Bill C-30, “the Digitally Dead,” and the Call for Legalized Pot (Again)

Proposed Internet Security Legislation Generates Public Outcry Public Safety Minister Vic Toews recently generated a media frenzy when he introduced a controversial new bill that proposed to provide police departments with the ability to access personal information about Canadian Internet users without a warrant. While the proposed legislation is controversial in itself, Toews caused further […]