Intrusion Upon Seclusion: Ontario Recognizes Tort For Invasion Of Privacy


The Ontario Court of Appeal has released its much-anticipated decision in Jones v. Tsige, 2012 ONCA 32 [Jones] which recognizes the tort of “intrusion upon seclusion,” acknowledging a right to sue when an individual’s privacy is intentionally invaded by another individual.

In Jones, Ms. Jones and Ms. Tsige were both employees of the Bank of Montreal. After discovering that Tsige had repeatedly accessed her personal financial information, Jones notified her employer, whose investigation revealed that Tsige had improperly accessed Jones’s banking information on 174 occasions over a four-year period. Tsige was in a relationship with Jones’s former husband and claimed to be following up on whether he paid child support. Although the bank disciplined Tsige for her misconduct, Jones also sued Tsige for invasion of privacy. The Ontario Superior Court dismissed the claim on the basis that no such tort existed at common law in Ontario, and reasoned that Ms. Jones should have made a complaint under the Personal Information and Protection of Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”) instead of pursuing a court action.

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