On January 18, Ontario’s Court of Appeal in Jones v. Tsige rendered a landmark decision that recognized a new common law tort – intrusion on seclusion. This cause of action dealing with invasion of privacy now exists in addition to any other rights of action for privacy breaches.
The arguments for a tort of this nature have come before the courts in Ontario on numerous occasions, particularly in the last decade. However, Ontario has been quite reticent to recognize a tort for invasion of privacy. While it is relatively recent, a common law tort relating to invasion of privacy already exists in the United States and in certain other jurisdictions in Canada.
In Jones v. Tsige, the Court of Appeal’s decision changed Ontario’s position, recognized arguments first put forth in 1960, and overturned the decision of first instance that there was in fact no tort for breach of privacy in Ontario.