The recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in R v. Jarvis addressed the circumstances that give rise to a reasonable expectation of privacy. While the case directly considered whether certain recordings violated the Criminal Code, the Court’s broad analysis of when a reasonable expectation of privacy exists applies outside the criminal context, with relevance to employers.
In our current information age, security over electronic information and protection against unauthorized access is foundational to employers’ businesses. To guard against endlessly multiplying electronic threats, employers must resort to electronic means and, understandably, often resort to broad and comprehensive software to protect their operations. However, the situation involving the District of Saanich earlier this year is a good reminder to all B.C. employers that cyber-protection cannot be used at the expense of employees’ privacy.
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