OVERVIEW & EXPERTISE

 

Compliance with laws regulating the collection and use of personal information has become a key concern for both private- and public-sector organizations. Government institutions have been subject to data protection legislation for decades; however, it is only with the more recent enactment of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act that the private sector has been subject to comprehensive federal privacy laws.

Blakes lawyers practising in this area have advised a range of clients with respect to privacy matters, including clients in industries with specialized privacy concerns, such as the e-commerce, health and financial services sectors.

Blakes Privacy lawyers have extensive experience in related areas of law, including copyright, entertainment and media, information technology, outsourcing, consumer protection, constitutional law, and regulatory compliance matters. We also work closely with members of the Firm's Litigation & Dispute Resolution team, and many of the leading cases on access-to-information issues have been argued by Blakes litigators. We regularly work with corporations to facilitate the development and implementation of privacy and employment policies, including auditing personal information practices, drafting privacy policies and guidelines, complaint procedures, website information packages, and management training.

Blakes lawyers advise clients on compliance matters involving the application of privacy and data protection legislation, responses to privacy-related complaints and to Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy requests. We also assist clients in obtaining guidance from the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and its provincial counterparts.

We are also regularly involved in negotiating, drafting and advising on the privacy aspects of corporate transactions, including advising a number of clients on data transfer issues in the context of large corporate transactions (including patient, customer and/or employee information).

With respect to the public-sector legislation, Blakes lawyers advise government institutions, clients whose personal or confidential information is held by a government agency, and clients seeking information from the government with respect to privacy and related freedom-of-information issues.

Professional Activities

Blakes lawyers practising in the privacy area have written and spoken extensively on privacy issues and have been actively involved in many committees, organizations and advisory bodies including:

  • Advisory Committee to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
  • Canadian Bar Association, Information, Telecommunications and Intellectual Property Section – Quebec Branch (at the executive and chair level)
  • Ontario Bar Association, Privacy Section (at the executive and chair level)
  • Advisory Council of the Identity, Privacy and Security Initiative at the University of Toronto

Representative Matters

  • Advising organizations in auditing their personal information practices, drafting privacy policies and consent forms, and advising on their implementation.
  • Advising on privacy issues in corporate transactions, including reviewing a broad range of interprovincial and international transactions to identify Canadian privacy issues and drafting data protection language.
  • Advising on and drafting employee privacy policies and data protection agreements with service providers.
  • Reviewing numerous insurance and financial services application forms to identify Canadian privacy issues and drafting data protection language.
  • Reviewing a wide range of marketing and promotional material to identify and address Canadian privacy issues.
  • Advising companies on privacy issues related to their use of technologies, including with respect to websites, e-commerce, online advertising, social media and cloud computing.
  • Advising clients in relation to access-to-information matters and assisting clients with Privacy Commissioner complaints and investigations.
 

 PEOPLE

 
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Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2269
Areas of Expertise: Class Actions, Constitutional & Charter of Rights, Product Liability, Privacy, Communications, Life Sciences, Infrastructure, Competition Litigation, Freedom of Information, Cybersecurity and Data Breach Response & Litigation, Cybersecurity, Government & Public Sector
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3348
Areas of Expertise: Technology, Outsourcing, Privacy, IP Licensing & Agreements
Associate | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-5021
Areas of Expertise: Corporate & Commercial, Mergers & Acquisitions, Technology, Intellectual Property, Copyright, Privacy
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3302
Areas of Expertise: Privacy, Employment & Labour
Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-4031
Areas of Expertise: Anti-spam, Drugs & Medical Devices, IP Licensing & Agreements, Information Technology, Privacy, Life Sciences, Retail & Consumer Products, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Cybersecurity
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2408
Areas of Expertise: International Dispute Resolution, Media & Defamation, Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, Constitutional & Charter of Rights, Privacy, Cybersecurity and Data Breach Response & Litigation, Cybersecurity, Enterprise Risk & Crisis Response, Government & Public Sector
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5849
Areas of Expertise: Corporate Litigation, Tax Controversy & Litigation, Class Actions, Privacy, Freedom of Information, Media & Defamation, Constitutional & Charter of Rights, Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, Cybersecurity and Data Breach Response & Litigation, Construction Dispute Resolution, Cybersecurity
Partner | Montréal
Montréal: 514-982-5050
Areas of Expertise: Employment Law, Employment Litigation, Health & Safety, Human Rights & Accommodation, Labour Law, Freedom of Information
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2399
Areas of Expertise: Class Actions, Product Liability, Constitutional & Charter of Rights, Freedom of Information, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Life Sciences, Government & Public Sector
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2794
Areas of Expertise: Marketing & Health Regulatory, Privacy, Intellectual Property
Partner | Vancouver
Vancouver: 604-631-3327
Areas of Expertise: Employment Law, Employment Litigation, Health & Safety, Human Rights & Accommodation, Labour Law, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Privacy, Pensions & Benefits, Executive Compensation, Freedom of Information, Cybersecurity and Data Breach Response & Litigation
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2541
Areas of Expertise: Marketing & Health Regulatory, Privacy, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Life Sciences, Intellectual Property, Anti-spam, Drugs & Medical Devices, Retail & Consumer Products
Associate | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9798
Areas of Expertise: Employment Litigation, Labour Law, Privacy, Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Associate | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-4265
Areas of Expertise: Intellectual Property, Marketing & Health Regulatory, Life Sciences, Privacy
Associate | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9691
Areas of Expertise: Employment & Labour, Privacy, Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Senior Counsel | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-2556
Areas of Expertise: Anti-spam, Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, Privacy, Intellectual Property, Life Sciences, Renewables (Wind, Solar, Hydro & CleanTech), Drugs & Medical Devices
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3161
Areas of Expertise: Intellectual Property, Marketing & Health Regulatory, Life Sciences, Privacy, Cybersecurity and Data Breach Response & Litigation, Cybersecurity
Partner | Calgary
Calgary: 403-260-9613
Areas of Expertise: Employment & Labour, Privacy
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-3067
Areas of Expertise: Marketing & Health Regulatory, Intellectual Property, Life Sciences, Renewables (Wind, Solar, Hydro & CleanTech), Privacy, Drugs & Medical Devices, Anti-spam, Cybersecurity
Partner | Toronto
Toronto: 416-863-5263
Areas of Expertise: Employment & Labour, Privacy, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Employment Law, Employment Litigation, Human Rights & Accommodation, Executive Compensation
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 BULLETINS

 
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03/18/2016

On March 4, 2016, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada published a consultation document soliciting input from stakeholders on the development of regulations that will support mandatory data breach reporting requirements under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act

Tags: Anti-spam, Class Actions, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Privacy
01/28/2016

In Doe 464533 v. X, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice found civil liability for the online publication of an intimate video by an ex-boyfriend. The case is significant because it signals the continuing expansion of privacy torts in Ontario, in this case through the recognition, for the first time in Canada, of the tort of “publication of embarrassing private facts.” 

Tags: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Privacy
01/20/2016

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently ruled in R. v. Rogers Communications that broad cellphone “tower dump” production orders are unconstitutional as unreasonable seizures under section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Tags: Communications, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Privacy
11/30/2015

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to appeal the Alberta Court of Appeal's decision in University of Calgary v. JR, where the Alberta Court of Appeal held that Alberta’s Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner does not have the statutory authority under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to order a public body to produce records over which it has asserted solicitor-client privilege.

Posted by:
Tags: Privacy
07/29/2015

​A plaintiff wins judgment, but the defendant (judgment debtor) refuses to pay or provide information necessary for the plaintiff (judgment creditor) to realize against the debtor’s assets. When and how can the creditor obtain that necessary information from a third party. This is the question at the heart of Royal Bank of Canada v. Trang, a case that the Supreme Court of Canada has just agreed to hear.

Posted by:
Tags: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Privacy, Restructuring & Insolvency
07/16/2015

​The Federal Court of Appeal recently allowed an appeal expanding the scope of a certified privacy class action relating to the loss of personal data of Canada Student Loans recipients.

Tags: Class Actions, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Privacy
07/09/2015

​The British Columbia Court of Appeal recently overturned the certification of a class action against Facebook Inc. in relation to alleged breaches of B.C.’s Privacy Act, involving unauthorized commercial use of users’ names and likenesses.

Tags: Class Actions, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Privacy, United States
06/19/2015

​After lengthy debates, Bill S-4, the Digital Privacy Act finally received royal assent on June 18, 2015, and is now law. The federal government introduced Bill S-4 on April 8, 2014, which marked the government’s third attempt since 2010 to amend Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. But despite the passing of this bill, the mandatory breach notification provisions will not come into force until regulations setting out prescribed requirements have been enacted.

Posted by:
Tags: Anti-spam, Privacy
04/27/2015

​In the Alberta Court of Appeal’s ruling this month in University of Calgary v. JR, the court held that the Alberta Information and Privacy Commissioner does not have the statutory authority under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to order a public body to produce records over which it has asserted solicitor-client privilege.

Tags: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Privacy
04/22/2015

​On February 19, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal from the judgment of the Alberta Court of Appeal in Imperial Oil Limited v. Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner). This case addressed important principles of law with respect to the interpretation and application of Alberta’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and broader issues of administrative law.

Tags: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Privacy
01/29/2015

​The Supreme Court of British Columbia’s ruling in Kim v. International Triathlon Union is the first reported court decision to consider termination of a non-union employee for postings made on a social media platform. By contrast, labour arbitration decisions addressing the discharge of unionized employees for misuse of social media have become common over the past several years.

Tags: Employment & Labour, Privacy
01/23/2015

​On December 9, 2014, Bill C-13, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Canada Evidence Act, the Competition Act and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, also known as the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act, received royal assent. The Act, sometimes colloquially referred to as Canada’s cyberbullying law, was originally introduced in the House of Commons on November 20, 2013, and will come into force on March 9, 2015.

Tags: Business Crimes, Investigations & Compliance, Communications, Information Technology, Intellectual Property, Privacy
01/09/2015

​Amendments to Alberta's Personal Information Protection Act, originating in Bill 3, came into force on December 17, 2014.

Posted by:
Tags: Employment & Labour, Privacy
11/24/2014

​The Alberta government moved forward last week with amendments to the Personal Information Protection Act. The proposed amendments seek to respond to constitutional deficiencies in the legislation identified in the November 15, 2013 ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada in Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner) v. United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401.

Posted by:
Tags: Employment & Labour, Privacy
06/20/2014

​With less than two weeks to go before the coming into force date for the main provisions of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) published a number of infographics and a Compliance and Enforcement Information Bulletin CRTC 2014-326: Guidelines to help businesses develop corporate compliance programs (Compliance Bulletin).

Tags: Anti-spam, Corporate & Commercial, Financial Services Regulatory, Gaming, Information Technology, Intellectual Property, Marketing & Health Regulatory, Privacy
06/16/2014

​In a landmark privacy decision, R. v. Spencer, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy in Internet usage information, and that law enforcement authorities who wish to obtain subscriber information from Internet service providers must, in most circumstances, do so pursuant to a warrant.

Tags: Information Technology, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Privacy
06/09/2014

​In Douez v. Facebook Inc., the Supreme Court of British Columbia recently certified a class proceeding against Facebook Inc. in relation to alleged breaches of B.C.’s Privacy Act involving unauthorized commercial use of users’ names and likenesses. In doing so, the court exercised its jurisdiction over the claim despite the fact that Facebook’s standard terms of use contain a forum selection clause requiring Facebook users to adjudicate disputes in California.

Tags: Class Actions, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Privacy
05/12/2014

​In just a few short weeks, key provisions of one of the most stringent anti-spam regimes in the world, Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, will come into force. CASL will have a significant impact on the electronic communication practices of businesses operating in the Canadian marketplace. As part of its cross-Canadian outreach program, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and Industry Canada received many questions regarding CASL which required further consideration. On May 8, 2014, the CRTC published a revised and supplemental version of its frequently asked questions to address some of these questions.

Tags: Corporate & Commercial, Financial Services Regulatory, Intellectual Property, Marketing & Health Regulatory, Privacy, Technology
04/24/2014

​On April 8, 2014, the federal government introduced Bill S-4 in the Senate. Bill S-4, titled the Digital Privacy Act, marks the government’s third attempt since 2010 to amend Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

Posted by:
Tags: Privacy
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