Crossing the line: Supreme Court of Canada to consider balance between privacy rights and freedom of expression in picket line videotaping case
In an important constitutional case, the Supreme Court of Canada has granted leave to hear an appeal from a decision that found that the application of privacy law to the videotaping of individuals crossing picket lines infringed the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
As we noted in a previous post, the judgment in question considered the activities of a union that had videotaped picketing activity during a strike at an Edmonton casino. Like other Canadian private sector privacy laws, Alberta’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA), generally requires the consent of individuals for the collection, use and disclosure of their personal information, including videotaped images of identifiable individuals. The union, which did not obtain such consent, videotaped and photographed the picket lines in order to publicize the images of individuals crossing the lines.