Case Report – NSCA makes privacy-protective orders in youth’s Facebook case

On June 25th, Oland J. of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal made two privacy-protective orders in an appeal of a decision to deny use of the same measures in an application. The application has been brought by a 15-year-old girl who is has taken issue with an unknown individual who created a fake and allegedly defamatory Facebook profile in her name.

In late May, the applicant succeeded in arguing for production of the identity of the individual associated with the fake profile before LeBlanc J. of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court. At the same time, LeBlanc J. denied the applicant an order permitting the use of a pseudonym (initials) and denied her a publication ban.

The Court of Appeal granted orders allowing the use of the two privacy protective measures in the appeal of LeBlanc J.’s decision, with the publication ban limited to restricting publication of the words of the Facebook profile. In making these orders, Oland J. held that the order was necessary to protect the applicant’s mental and emotional health, that the orders would be effective in protecting the applicant, that the orders would have a relatively limited impact and that a failure to make the orders would render the appeal moot.

The appeal is currently set down for hearing on December 7th, 2010. Beyond Borders, a children’s rights organization, intends to intervene. The Halifax Herald Limited and Global Television are respondents on the appeal.

A.B. v. Bragg Communications Inc., 2010 NSCA 57 (CanLII).

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