Whose hard drive is it anyway?

Ontario court ups the ante for employees’ right to privacy on work computers against employer searches and monitoring
By Adrian Jakibchuk
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 06/15/2011

Work computers a private affair

In the May 18, 2011, issue of Canadian Employment Law Today, Alberta employment lawyers Tina Giesbrecht and Toni Eckes discussed how far employers can expect to be able to keep an eye on what employees are doing on the employer’s own computer equipment. Based on a prominent Alberta Court of Appeal decision, it appeared there were definite limits on how much expectation of privacy employees could have regarding work computers.

However, a sidebar to that story noted a recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision that may muddy the waters and raise the bar with regards to employees’ privacy rights on work computers and other electronic equipment. Ontario lawyer Adrian Jakibchuk takes an in-depth look at this recent decision and what it means for employee privacy rights and employers’ rights to check their own equipment.