Thursday, November 21, 2013

New column day

Here, on what Saskatchewan can learn from some significant developments in privacy law in Manitoba and Alberta.

For further reading...
- Paul Broad and Daniel Michaluk introduce Manitoba's new private-sector legislation.
- Alberta's similar legislation is here, while the Supreme Court of Canada's decision striking it down is here. In particular, see paragraphs 37-38:
PIPA imposes restrictions on a union’s ability to communicate and persuade the public of its cause, impairing its ability to use one of its most effective bargaining strategies in the course of a lawful strike.  In our view, this infringement of the right to freedom of expression is disproportionate to the government’s objective of providing individuals with control over personal information that they expose by crossing a picketline.

This conclusion does not require that we condone all of the Union’s activities.  The breadth of PIPA’s restrictions makes it unnecessary to examine the precise expressive activity at issue in this case.  It is enough to note that, like privacy, freedom of expression is not an absolute value and both the nature of the privacy interests implicated and the nature of the expression must be considered in striking an appropriate balance.  To the extent that PIPA restricted the Union’s collection, use and disclosure of personal information for legitimate labour relations purposes, the Act violates s. 2(b) of the Charter and cannot be justified under s. 1.
- And I'll post a bit more commentary on the Supreme Court decision later today here

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