Everyday, Canadian citizens' private information bears the risk of being illegally obtained, stored and used for illicit purposes. While some cases of illegal information possession has led the government to hand down some form of punishment, legislation has not kept up with growing rates of privacy intrusion and identity theft, leaving victims with few avenues to explore legal recourse.
However, after a recent ruling from the Ontario Court of Appeals, a new form of legal tort has been created called "intrusion upon seclusion." The new law will help empower victims of personal intrusion by allowing those whose privacy has been deliberately and significantly invaded to sue any alleged guilty parties for damages not to generally exceed $20,000.
While this legislation will allow civilians to litigate other individuals for claims of marked personal intrusion, it also allows citizens to pursue legal action against any company that fails to adequately protect their sensitive information.
However, the relatively low ceiling of $20,000 in damages may not be large enough to effectively deter privacy violations, especially for huge corporations with multimillion dollar reserves that may gladly deliver that kind of payout to cut a few corners in their data disposal, experts say.
As such, it may not be enough for citizens to rely on the new intrusion upon seclusion reform to ensure their private data remains private.
Therefore, it would behoove those worried about the integrity of their information to deploy the preventative services of a certified third-party shredding and document destruction service as a way to permanently get rid of both paper and digital documentation that would be detrimental if possessed by the wrong person. In this instance, privacy breaches become far less likely, diminishing the likelihood that the individual will be forced down a long, messy road of lawyers, trials and courtrooms.
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