Privacy in Canada: Taming a Notoriously Protean Legal Concept with a Coherent and Purposive Approach
This chapter considers the right of privacy in Canada. Canada maintains a written bill of rights, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which safeguards certain fundamental human rights from government abridgment absent sufficient justification. The Supreme Court of Canada has developed a durable and workable doctrinal architecture to structure privacy analysis under Sections 7 (life, liberty, and security of the person) and 8 (unreasonable searches and seizures) of the Charter. Moreover, the Canadian justices have been remarkably proactive in deploying constitutional privacy to meet the challenges presented by new and emerging technologies; indeed, the Supreme Court of Canada has demonstrated a remarkable aptitude for mastering new technology. Canada’s example teaches that privacy law need not be a doctrinal quagmire. Moreover, it also demonstrates that judges on constitutional courts are capable of mastering complex technological change and developing legal doctrines to meet it.
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