Raitt-gate leads to new privacy law ruling

You have to dig a bit into this link to find the legal implications of the media’s right to use private information which comes their way accidentally, in this case, a tape recorder left behind after a media interview by a hapless aide. A Nova Scotia judge agreed the media had the right to use all the information on the tape and it landed a cabinet minister in deep political trouble. Of more interest though, than the scandal of the day, is some of the judge’s thinking. No doubt he was influenced by the fact the media outlet tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to get the aide to recover her property. However, the quote below gives some legal definition around what constitutes a breach of privacy.

With no Nova Scotia precedents to guide him, he drew on a 2001 Ontario ruling for a definition of what amounts to a breach of privacy. Evidence of “harassing behaviour” could support a claim for damages, he noted, as would “an intentional invasion of privacy.”

J-source/Halifax Chronicle-Herald, June 23 2009


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