Central to the matter is whether Google has an obligation under PIPEDA to delete personal information in certain circumstances, says Sookman, who is former co-chair of the McCarthy’s Technology Law group and former head of the firm’s Internet and Electronic Commerce Group.
“The court didn’t get to that question. And the more fundamental question is the one that Google has been trying, since the inception of the case to get argued, which is that, if [the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)] does in fact apply to it, does that violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms?”
“What’s really frustrating is to see a number of interim decisions that just delay the resolution of the ultimate questions, which are really important as a matter of Canadian public policy.”
Maanit Zemel predicts Google will “drag this out” and appeal the matter up to the Supreme Court of Canada. Zemel is partner at Zemel van Kampen LLP and practises internet law and civil and commercial litigation, focussing on Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, online defamation, privacy, and data security.
The result that PIPEDA applies to Google’s search engine means a person can apply to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) and file a complaint that Google’s search results violate their privacy and the OPC can then make the call that Google is not complying with PIPEDA and tell them to take the content down, says Zemel.