Osler successfully defeated the certification of a proposed class action against Facebook, Inc. and Facebook Canada Ltd. The plaintiff claimed that an entity known as Cambridge Analytica obtained information about Canadian Facebook users from a Cambridge University professor named Dr. Kogan. The case followed public allegations that Facebook data was used by Cambridge Analytica in the 2016 U.S. election campaign.
On February 16, 2021, Justice Edward Belobaba of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed the plaintiff’s motion for certification
, finding there was no evidence in the record that Dr. Kogan shared any Canadian’s data with Cambridge Analytica. Accordingly, there was no basis in fact to support the plaintiff’s proposed common issues. Justice Belobaba noted that, while he did not need to rule on any of the other arguments against certification, Facebook had advanced an array of compelling arguments, including, for example, that the limited data in question was not sufficiently private to trigger the tort of intrusion upon seclusion.
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP represented Facebook, Inc. with a team consisting of Mark A. Gelowitz, Robert Carson and Lauren Harper (Litigation).