The Trend Towards New Privacy Torts – Alberta Weighs In

As private lives are increasingly digitized, Canadian courts continue to expand their recognition of common law privacy torts.

The latest privacy tort recognized in Alberta is public disclosure of private facts in the decision of ES v Shillington, 2021 ABQB 739. Justice Inglis confirmed that the common law tort exists in Alberta and awarded the plaintiff $155,000 in damages in connection.

This decision brings the Alberta courts one step closer to recognizing all four privacy torts set out by the Ontario Court of Appeal in Jones v Tsige in 2012 and are now officially recognized by the Ontario Courts. To date, the Alberta courts have considered the tort of intrusion upon seclusion, and have now officially recognized the misappropriation of personality and public disclosure of private facts.

We provide a summary of the latest privacy tort and highlight the key takeaways from the decision in ES v Shillington, 2021 ABQB 739 here.

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Kelly Osaka

About Kelly Osaka

Kelly Osaka is a member of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution group and the Privacy and Cybersecurity practice group. In particular, her practice focuses on shareholder disputes, class actions, privacy law claims and regulatory investigations. Kelly has appeared as counsel before all levels of court in Alberta and British Columbia, as well as the Alberta Securities Commission, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

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Cate White

About Cate White

Cate White is an associate in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution group in Dentons’ Calgary office. Her practice covers commercial and civil litigation, regulatory disputes, administrative and constitutional law, with a focus on anti-corruption, bribery, compliance reviews and white-collar criminal investigations.

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