BILL 23

Privacy Act

Chapter Outline

Tort 1

Invasion of privacy 2

Examples 3

Exclusions 4

Damages 5

Crown is bound 6

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, enacts as follows:

Tort

1 An invasion of the privacy of an individual is a tort and is actionable without proof of damage.

Invasion of privacy

2 An act is an invasion of privacy if

(a) it unduly intrudes into the personal affairs of an individual or into his or her activities, whether in a public or a private place, or

(b) it gives undue publicity to information concerning an individual.

Examples

3 Without limiting the generality of section 2, an invasion of privacy may arise from conduct such as the following if it occurs to the degree described in section 2:

(a) watching or following an individual;

(b) disturbing an individual in his or her home or any other private place;

(c) listening to or intercepting private communications; or

(d) disclosing information of a personal nature about an individual.

Exclusions

4(1) An act is not an invasion of privacy if

(a) the individual consented to it,

(b) it was done in the reasonable exercise of a lawful right of defence of person or property,

(c) it was authorized or required by law,

(d) it was done by a peace officer or other public officer acting in good faith and in the course of his or her duty,

(e) the person doing the act neither knew nor reasonably should have known that the act would constitute an invasion of privacy,

(f) the person doing the act reasonably believed it was done in the public interest, or

(g) the act would be privileged under the law of defamation.

4(2) In determining whether an act is an invasion of privacy, the court shall have regard to all the circumstances, including any domestic or other relationship between the parties.

Damages

5 In assessing damages in an action for invasion of privacy, the court may take into account

(a) the seriousness of the invasion of privacy, and

(b) any financial benefit that the defendant derived from the act complained of.

Crown is bound

6 This Act binds the Crown.