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What Measures Up As A Breach Of Confidentiality In Ontario?

What Measures Up As A Breach Of Confidentiality In Ontario?

Being involved in a litigious matter for a breach of confidentiality is frightening. You must have heard much of the word ‘confidentiality’, particularly in professional settings. Well, suppose you are an employee or a business partner. In that case, you need to be mindful that confidentiality holds a specific position in today’s business and employment world, and breaches of which can bring significant legal challenges. 

Strict confidentiality is the key to sustainable business and employee relations. But what is this confidentiality you speak of? Our blog aims to highlight what constitutes a breach of confidentiality and break down some legal contours that revolve around the violation of confidentiality.

What Is Confidentiality?

The act of keeping personal or sensitive data to oneself without sharing it or using it against the interests of others is called confidentiality. Undoubtedly, confidentiality is crucial when someone is in a precarious position of giving private information that may be harmful to them if it were divulged or abused by the person receiving the information.

How Do You Identify If It Is Confidential Information In Business Matters?

A piece of information is to be regarded as of confidential nature when it retains a commercial value. Now, the next thing that comes to mind is how a commercial value can be identified.

Typically, commercial value is linked with the idea of whether the provided information will generate profits or sales. Some common types of confidential information that may lead to profitmaking include.

  • Ideas, plans, or business blueprints
  • Business operation designs and day-to-day activities
  • Business techniques and procedures
  • Financial business planning
  • Lists of clientele and suppliers, etc.

How Do You Prove A Breach Of Confidentiality?

A breach of confidentiality comes into the picture when a duty of confidentiality is disobeyed. It essentially means that if you disclose or misuse any sensitive data without the owner’s consent, you are alleged to set aside the duty of confidentiality. It establishes a legal basis for action, enabling the injured party to file a lawsuit.

Crucial Factors In Determining Confidentiality Breaches

As per one of the landmark Canadian cases concerning confidentiality breaches, International Corona v Lac Minerals, [1989] 2 S.C.R. 574., the courts in Ontario take into account the following factors whenever a claim for breach of confidentiality arises:

  • The information you provided was confidential.
  • You spoke in confidence when you shared the information/facts.
  • The person you communicated with mishandled the information you gave them.
  • The confidential information was disclosed to a third party to prejudice the person who initially shared the information in confidence.

A strategic consideration in weighing confidence breach claims is whether the third party reasonably believed the information was private. It can be inferred from the information’s content or the circumstances surrounding how the third party acquired it.

Note: Please be advised that the above-mentioned are the factors that courts commonly look upon. As every case is individual, it is always a wise option to engage the services of a legal professional.

Get In Touch With Us

Privacy and confidentiality are the core values in uplifting the sanctity of business relations. If you are a corporation facing a breach of confidentiality, do not hesitate to reach out to our civil litigation lawyers at Ayaz Mehdi Professional Corporation, who can help you walk through your legal options.

Disclaimer:  Kindly note that sending or receiving information through this site does not establish a solicitor-client relationship. Legal matters are fact-specific, and the law is variably changing. The views expressed and the content provided on this blog are general guidelines and cannot substitute for proper legal advice. Schedule your legal consultation by clicking here: Let’s meet!

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