Statement: Canada’s Privacy Commissioner welcomes Federal Court of Appeal decision that Google’s search engine service is subject to Canada’s federal privacy law
October 3, 2023
Privacy Commissioner of Canada Philippe Dufresne today issued the following statement:
I welcome the Federal Court of Appeal decision upholding the Federal Court’s decision that Google’s search engine service is subject to federal privacy law.
The court agreed with my Office’s position that Google is not exempt from the Personal information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), Canada’s federal private sector privacy law, under the journalistic purposes exemption.
The court’s decision brings welcome clarification to this area of the law.
The proceedings stem from an investigation involving a complainant who alleged that Google was contravening privacy law by returning links to online news articles about them when their name was searched. The individual alleged that the articles were outdated, inaccurate and disclosed sensitive information about them and that this caused them significant harm.
My Office turned to the Federal Court to seek clarity on whether Google’s search engine is subject to federal privacy law when it indexes web pages and presents search results in response to queries of a person’s name.
- Date modified: