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Employee privacy update: Supreme Court of Canada releases decision in R v Cole

The Supreme Court of Canada released its much-awaited decision in R. v. Cole, 2012 SCC 53, on October 19. This criminal law case is notable for employers because it provides commentary on an employee’s right to privacy when using an employer-supplied laptop.

 

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Individual privacy in the workplace – a case precedent

On March 22, 2011, the Ontario Court of Appeal rendered a significant judgment concerning the protection of privacy in the workplace. Specifically, the Court determined that an employee had an expectation of privacy when using a laptop made available by the employer on which he was allowed to retain personal information.

 

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What’s an Anton Piller order? You’d better know before you face one

Picture the following situation: it’s a normal workday, when suddenly, a large group of people enter your premises. Many of them are wearing uniforms of the Sheriff’s Office. They are led by a lawyer who claims he has an order from the court that allows his party to search your premises and copy and remove any documents they wish. The order from the court he presents to you appears legitimate. What do you do?

 

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