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McCarthy Tetrault’s TechLex reports on R. v. Bykovets

Daniel Glover, Andrew Matheson, Barry Sookman, Connor Bildfell, Greer Hope, Natalie Kolos and Nico Rullmann write that in a 5:4 split, a majority of the Supreme Court of Canada recently held in R. v. Bykovets that internet protocol (“IP”) addresses attract a reasonable expectation of privacy protected by section 8 of the Charter. This decision will have practical implications for law enforcement authorities who will need prior judicial authorization before requesting IP addresses and for private organizations such as internet service providers, search engines, generative AI providers, and online advertising companies if the majority’s reasons also influence the development and interpretation of Canadian privacy laws. The decision could be especially impactful on the interpretation of PIPEDA and the amendments proposed in Bill C-27 to enact the Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CPPA).

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