The recent decision by a judge in Toronto regarding Facebook information not being off-limits for the courts is very interesting. I’m certain we’ve all heard that people have lost jobs or missed out on promotions because of compromising materials on the Internet, especially Facebook and other Social Media sites, but I think this may be the first time that these sites have been used in the courts in Canada.
The particular situation, a person making an insurance claim with respect to a reduction in their “enjoyment of life”, is particularly interesting; I have little doubt that insurance companies will be quite pleased with this decision, since it may allow them to win cases without the use of Private Investigators – at least, they could use them a lot less.
On the one hand, I think that the decision is a good one – if you post it online, it is entirely possible that it will get leaked, even if you don’t want it to be. As well, in such a situation as the one which caused the decision, if the litigant isn’t being truthful then they have only brought any consequences upon themselves.
On the other hand, it goes against the tendency in Canadian law towards honouring an individual’s privacy over other interests except in extreme circumstances. In addition, one does not always control what is posted about one’s self; A poor choice in photo-posting by someone on your Facebook friends list, combined with the ubiquity of cellphones equipped with both a camera and internet connection, could turn a single indiscression in to a serious issue.
In personal news:
Cheers all, see you next week!