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Canadian courts confirm significant limits on privacy class actions

Author(s): Mark Gelowitz, Robert Carson, W. David Rankin, Emily MacKinnon, Lauren Harper, Céline Legendre

Dec 13, 2021

For businesses operating in Canada, 2021 brought welcome guidance: courts across the country repeatedly exercised their gatekeeping role to put a stop to privacy class actions that lack evidence of harm to the proposed class members. In other words, a class action should not automatically follow from a data breach or incident. Even when a class action does follow, defendants have a variety of tools to defend privacy claims or to resolve them early on.  

The “some basis in fact” requirement is a meaningful screening device

Several decisions reinforced that certification is meant to be a meaningful screening device in privacy class actions...