Privacy class action update: appeal allowed in Condon v. Canada

I recently summarized the state of recent privacy class actions in Canada: the cases that are either pending or which were recently authorized.

There has recently been an update in the Condon v. Canada case, which pertains to an action taken following the announcement in late 2012 that Human Resources and Skills Development Canada had lost an unencrypted hard drive containing the personal information of approximately 583,000 students’ information such as their names and addresses, student loan balances, as well as these students’ or former students’ dates of birth and social insurance numbers, making this information much more sensitive.

This case had previously been certified as a class action, but only with respect to certain claims (breach of contract and new intrusion upon seclusion tort). The Federal Court of Appeal has now allowed an appeal expanding the scope of this privacy class action: the Court of Appeal held that claims based in negligence and breach of confidence should also proceed to trial, regardless of the fact that there was no evidence that class members had become victims of identity theft (or had otherwise suffered some other type of financial harm). Plaintiff’s claim alleged that class members had sustained some financial damages including costs incurred in preventing identity theft as well as other out-of-pocket expenses. The Court of Appeal considered that these claims were sufficient to certify the class proceeding for these additional claims.

This content has been updated on July 20, 2015 at 19 h 39 min.