November 8 2010 - Randall v. Nubody: Another decade without damages under PIPEDA?
One of the most common criticisms of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act ("PIPEDA") is that it lacks 'teeth'. There are a number of factors that support this argument: the lack of order-making powers, the inability to bring class actions, and the fact that the Commissioner has absolutely no power to review claims of solicitor-client privilege, to name a few.
The lack of damage awards stands out as well. While PIPEDA provides the Federal Court with the ability to award damages to a complainant, after a full decade in existence, there is yet to be such an award. However, is this the result of a flawed design, or is it because of how PIPEDA has been applied by the Federal Court?
This issue of PrivacyScan explores this question in light of a recent Federal Court case, Randall v. Nubodys Fitness Centres, in which the Federal Court not only denied the applicant’s claim for damages, but set a high threshold that will likely discourage other complainants from seeking damages in the future.