SCC to decide: Does reasonable expectation of privacy attach to IP address?

On Jan. 17, 2023, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) heard the case of Andrei Bykovets v. His Majesty the King (40269). This appeal is of significant importance to Canadians’ privacy rights, specifically their informational privacy, as it addresses the interpretation of section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter) protecting individuals from unjustified intrusions by the government.

The SCC has already developed a strong body of jurisprudence around section 8 privacy rights and circumstances where an individual’s reasonable expectation of privacy (REP) will be violated. For instance, in R v Spencer, 2014 SCC 43, the SCC held that police are required to obtain judicial authorization through a search warrant or production order before asking an internet service provider (ISP) to identify a specific user associated with a specific IP address. This case will offer more clarity as to the scope of the REP because the entity in question was not an ISP.

You can read our article on this topic available on BLG’s website.

This content has been updated on May 2, 2024 at 12 h 42 min.