Summaries of leading Privacy Act Federal Court cases

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Since the Privacy Act was first enacted in 1983, courts have been called upon to interpret its meaning. The resulting case law has helped clarify key concepts in the legislation, and added to the Office of the Privacy of Canada’s (OPC) understanding of its purpose, scope and application.

Federal Court case summaries can be found in the Government of Canada’s annual Info Source Access to Information Act and Privacy Act bulletins , which contain summaries of Federal Court case decisions and statistics going back to 1998.

However, on this web page, the OPC has highlighted what it considers to be some of the leading cases under the Privacy Act and under the closely related Access to Information Act (ATIA). The latter shares some key terms and wording with the Privacy Act and so some of the cases interpreting the ATIA have a direct bearing on the Privacy Act.

The case summaries listed on this page are meant to provide an accessible overview of the leading cases and the key principles that can be drawn from those cases. The principles listed at the end of the summaries are meant to provide practical tips and should not be considered legal advice.

Start exploring leading Privacy Act Federal Court cases on this page.

Federal Court decision

Cemerlic v. Canada (Solicitor General), 2003 FCT 133

Some of the leading cases decided under the Privacy Act and under the closely related Access to Information Act (ATIA).

Federal Court decision

Canada (Privacy Commissioner) v. Canada (Labour Relations Board), (2000) 25 Admin. L.R. (3d) 305 (Fed. C.A.)

Some of the leading cases decided under the Privacy Act and under the closely related Access to Information Act (ATIA).

Federal Court decision

Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies v. Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness), 2010 FC 470

Some of the leading cases decided under the Privacy Act and under the closely related Access to Information Act (ATIA).

Federal Court decision

R. v. Zarzour, (2000) 196 F.T.R. 320

Some of the leading cases decided under the Privacy Act and under the closely related Access to Information Act (ATIA).

Federal Court decision

Canada (Information Commissioner) v. Canada (Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police), 2003 SCC 8

Some of the leading cases decided under the Privacy Act and under the closely related Access to Information Act (ATIA).

Federal Court decision

Canada (Information Commissioner) v. Canada (Minister of National Defence), 2011 SCC 25

Some of the leading cases decided under the Privacy Act and under the closely related Access to Information Act (ATIA).

Federal Court decision

Dagg v. Canada (Minister of Finance), [1997] 2 S.C.R. 403

Some of the leading cases decided under the Privacy Act and under the closely related Access to Information Act (ATIA).

Federal Court decision

H.J. Heinz Co. of Canada Ltd. v. Canada (Attorney General), 2006 SCC 13

Some of the leading cases decided under the Privacy Act and under the closely related Access to Information Act (ATIA).

Federal Court decision

Lavigne v. Canada (Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages), 2002 SCC 53

Some of the leading cases decided under the Privacy Act and under the closely related Access to Information Act (ATIA).

Federal Court decision

Canada (Information Commissioner) v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2002 FCA 270

Some of the leading cases decided under the Privacy Act and under the closely related Access to Information Act (ATIA).

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