What you should know about online privacy and your Ontario personal injury lawsuit
Increasingly, we are living in a time where our online privacy is every bit as valuable as our time and money. The use of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have made sharing the events and daily activities of our lives with hundreds of others online commonplace.
For an accident victim involved in a personal injury lawsuit, the details you share online could wind up having an impact on your case. The following posts are a series designed to help you understand why you need to be cautious online, what your online privacy rights are and how this information has been used in recent cases.
From January 1, 2004, all businesses engaged in commercial activities must comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. The PIPED Act is new legislation implemented by the federal government to protect the privacy of Canadians in the private sector. It sets out ground rules for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information. It ensures that an organization’s legitimate need for personal information can be balanced with the privacy rights of individuals. The Act gives you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information.
I was brought up to believe that sharing is a good thing to do. More often than not, it still is. That said, social media sites such as Facebook have created a world in which we share more than ever before. Pictures, our day to day activities, our relationship status and conversations with others are now being shared with hundreds of our “friends” online every day on Facebook and other networks.
For car accident victims, or anyone wishing to make an insurance claim or claim for accident benefits, all of this sharing can potentially impact your case if the statements and images you share online are relevant to your lawsuit.
Understanding your privacy rights when you are in litigation with an insurance company following an accident can be an important part of managing your claim for accident benefits and tort damages in Ontario.
If you make a claim, insurance companies have the right to request a variety of types of records, that may include your medical, hospital, and prescription records, and employment and income records, in addition to others. They also have the right to conduct surveillance of you.
When an order of preservation is imposed on a Facebook page, it means that the court will have access to all of the information contained within your profile. Pictures, your daily activities and your interactions will be subject to review. This leaves your private life open for discussion as it applies to your personal injury lawsuit. How much information has to be shared? How can it be used in a personal injury lawsuit?
Guest blogger, Dave Bilinski, shares some interesting insights into the intricacies of preservation orders as they were issued in the Leduc v. Roman case.