snIP/ITs Insights on Canadian Technology and Intellectual Property Law

Monthly Archives: November 2011

Striking the Balance between Privacy Interests and Commercial Use – SCC Denies Leave in Alberta Licence Plate Case

Posted in Privacy

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal in the case Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner) v. Leon’s Furniture Limited. At issue was whether Leon’s store policy, of recording the driver’s licence numbers and vehicle licence plate numbers of individuals picking up furniture, contravened Alberta’s private sector privacy statute.  Leon’s had instituted the policy in order to deter, prevent, and detect fraud.

As a result of the Supreme Court’s ruling, the decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal stands. The majority of the Court of Appeal found that licence plate numbers are not “personal information” about an … Continue Reading

Surprising Results from an e-Discovery Survey

Posted in E-Discovery

A recent survey on information retention and e-discovery practices, undertaken by a large IT service provider, yielded some surprising results.

The purpose of the survey was to better understand how companies are responding to litigation and regulatory requests for information despite an increasing amount of data from a growing number of sources. The survey also asked whether companies had implemented formal information retention and e-discovery practices, and the impact of doing so.

The survey uncovered the following facts:

  • E-mail is no longer the most commonly requested category of record
  • Instead, both loose files and information from databases outrank e-mail in
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Supreme Court of Canada to Hear Employee Laptop Privacy Case

Posted in Privacy

Do employees have a reasonable expectation in employer-issued computers used for work purposes?  The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to weigh in on this issue – having recently granted leave to appeal the decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in R. v. Cole.

Why is this Case Important?

The Ontario Court of Appeal decision is notable from a privacy perspective, as the Court determined that, under specific circumstances, employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of work computers. 

Cole was a high-school teacher, charged with the possession of child pornography and unauthorized use of

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Canadian Federal Government Revives Amendments to PIPEDA – Part I: What Canadian Businesses Need to Know About the Proposed Breach Notification Provisions

Posted in Privacy

If the recently tabled Bill C-12 is enacted, organizations governed by Canada’s private sector privacy legislation will be required to notify the federal Privacy Commissioner of any material privacy breaches involving personal information. The Bill, Safeguarding Canadians’ Personal Information Act, is a copy of the previous Parliament’s breach notification bill, Bill C-29, which died on the order paper. 

Many countries have laws in place that require organizations facing a data breach scenario to notify affected parties. In the United States, California was the first state to enact such a law, which required any person or business that owns computerized … Continue Reading