In British Columbia, the Privacy Act (“Act”) enacted in 1968 was the first in the country. It created a statutory tort or civil right of action for an invasion of privacy when the common law did not. Section 1 of the Act reads:
Violation of Privacy Actionable
1 (1) It is a tort, actionable without proof of damage, for a person, wilfully and without a claim of right, to violate the privacy of another.
However, the right of privacy is not absolute, as sections 1(2) and 1(3), together, create a scheme that protects only a certain degree of privacy. These provisions establish a two-step process to successfully advance a claim under the Act.
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