Privacy in the Courts

Privacy in the Courts: A quarterly review provides a practical, efficient and accessible resource to help busy in-house counsel, Chief Privacy Officers and compliance professionals navigate recent court decisions and gain a broad understanding of how privacy law is evolving in Canada. Each article provides an overview of the facts and decision related to each case, as well as a discussion of the key points. Expertly written commentary helps users identify trends over time and gain insights into the potential implications for their organizations. 

The Fall 2021 edition is now available with 17 informative case summaries.

Below is a sample summary from this latest edition:

Court issues damages award in class action involving data scraping of personal information

Severs v. Hyp3R Inc., 2021 BCSC 2261 


The applicant sought certification of a class action, as well as a decision on the common issues in default of any response by the defendant.

The plaintiff alleged that in 2018 and 2019, Hyp3R Inc. [Hyp3R], a US-based company, “collected, retained and exploited Instagram users’ personal information without notice or consent and in breach of Instagram’s policies” (at para 2). Instagram makes available several APIs that allow third party applications to interact with users’ data on their platform. On April 4, 2018, Instagram made changes to its APIs, limiting the data that could be accessed or collected through these APIs. Instagram’s terms of service prohibit also data scraping and the improper collection and retention of the personal data of Instagram users.

Hyp3R began its operations in 2015 and offered location-based marketing services. To do so, it tracked social media posts that were tagged with location information. One source for such location information was Instagram users’ profiles. Through collection of profile data, it created its own “shadow profiles” of Instagram users.

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