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Canadian privacy class actions evolve beyond traditional data breaches

Author(s): Robert Carson, Simon Cameron

Jan 11, 2023

In 2021, we reported that courts across the country exercised their gatekeeping role to bring an end to data breach class actions that lacked evidence of harm to the proposed class members. Ontario courts also confirmed significant limitations on the intrusion upon seclusion tort, holding that it does not apply where a defendant merely failed to prevent a hacking incident. In 2022, in a significant victory for “database defendants,” the Court of Appeal for Ontario upheld this reasoning.

Many plaintiffs’ lawyers now appear to be shifting their focus, at least in part, away from traditional data breach claims. Common allegations in new class action filings ranged from misuse of information to a lack of protections for children and teenagers who use online services. Canadian courts are also continuing to consider and grapple with potential new privacy torts...

Read or listen to this Legal Year in Review 2022 article