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

Ruby v. Canada (Solicitor General), [2000] 3 F.C. 589 (C.A.), reversed in part 2002 SCC 75

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).

Federal Court decision

Canada (Information Commissioner) v. Canada (Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board), 2006 FCA 157

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

Federal Court decision

Canada (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness) v. Maydak, 2005 FCA 186

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

Federal Court decision

Statham v. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 2010 FCA 315

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

Federal Court decision

Leahy v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2012 FCA 227

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

Federal Court decision

Nault v. Canada (Public Works and Government Services), 2011 FCA 263

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

Federal Court decision

Privacy Act (Can.) (Re), 2001 SCC 89, affirming [2000] 3 F.C. 82 (C.A.)

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

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