David Elder discusses Canadian privacy laws with The New York Times, concerning paparazzi photos of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Canada

January 28, 2020
Amid the news of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle relinquishing their royal duties and planning a move to Canada, Ottawa lawyer and Head of Stikeman Elliott’s Privacy & Data Protection Group David Elder discussed with The New York Times how Canadian privacy laws might apply to the couple’s legal battle with the British press, respecting publication of photos taken of the Duchess during a recent stay on Vancouver Island.

While acknowledging that the couple could bring a lawsuit under British Columbia’s Privacy Act over photos taken without their consent, he cautioned that any lawsuit by the couple in Canada “is unlikely to be a slam-dunk and, and in fact, may be a difficult claim to make out successfully.”

He explained that the B.C. law contains many exemptions intended for news media, as does Canada’s constitution, and that Canadian courts have generally ruled that public figures, and people in public places, have reduced expectations of privacy.

David provides privacy compliance advice to businesses around the world and advises clients with respect to managing data breaches and navigating privacy issues that arise in M&A transactions. He is in high demand as a speaker on topics relating to privacy law and Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), and the first call for many journalists covering developments in these areas.

David heads Stikeman Elliott’s Privacy & Data Protection Group, which provides creative solutions to the legal challenges presented by Canada’s complex array of federal and provincial privacy and data protection laws. The team plays a key role in shaping the legislative policy and best practices and advises on Canada’s highest profile privacy breach cases.

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