Prize Winner

Type of Proposal

Oral presentation

Start Date

31-3-2017 9:00 AM

End Date

31-3-2017 10:20 AM

Faculty

Faculty of Law

Abstract

For well over a century, technological change has motivated the legal protection of the individual’s right to privacy. Now, with the accelerated pace of information sharing brought on by the emergence of the internet, social media, and other forms of networked communication, the need to preserve the privacy of the individual has been a steadily growing issue and concern. This need has been uniquely influenced by the increase in intimate image sharing, an activity that did not exist before the ubiquity of personal cellphones and computers. This new type of behaviour has brought a new concern for privacy protection advocates since individuals are being exploited by having their images distributed without consent. This trend, commonly referred to as “Revenge Porn,” is a relatively new phenomenon whereby an individual, while in possession of sexually explicit video footage and/or visual material (i.e photographs), subsequently uploads that content onto a public website and/or otherwise shares that information to the public. Once posted online or publicly disseminated via alternative means, the material becomes accessible for viewing or downloading by other individuals. Revenge Porn most frequently occurs when a romantic relationship, or relationship of trust, ends and one party publicizes the material in order to shame, humiliate, or destroy the other’s reputation. A key element of this conduct is that it is done without the consent of the person(s) featured in the image or video. Examining the new tort of public disclosure of embarrassing private facts shows that privacy is a fundamental right worthy of protection in civil disputes, particularly when the wrongful act is the non-consensual distribution of intimate images—Revenge Porn. An argument can be made that the devastating consequences of the tort entitle victims to a legal remedy in order to regain their sense of individual autonomy. By analyzing the criticisms and shortcomings expressed by opponents to the tort’s existence, salient recommendations to address the same can be made. Furthermore, a discussion of the comparable laws in other Canadian jurisdictions will aid in affirming the importance of legal recourse in Ontario against this type of privacy invasion.

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Mar 31st, 9:00 AM Mar 31st, 10:20 AM

A Plea for Privacy: A Call to Preserve Ontario's Protection Against Revenge Porn

For well over a century, technological change has motivated the legal protection of the individual’s right to privacy. Now, with the accelerated pace of information sharing brought on by the emergence of the internet, social media, and other forms of networked communication, the need to preserve the privacy of the individual has been a steadily growing issue and concern. This need has been uniquely influenced by the increase in intimate image sharing, an activity that did not exist before the ubiquity of personal cellphones and computers. This new type of behaviour has brought a new concern for privacy protection advocates since individuals are being exploited by having their images distributed without consent. This trend, commonly referred to as “Revenge Porn,” is a relatively new phenomenon whereby an individual, while in possession of sexually explicit video footage and/or visual material (i.e photographs), subsequently uploads that content onto a public website and/or otherwise shares that information to the public. Once posted online or publicly disseminated via alternative means, the material becomes accessible for viewing or downloading by other individuals. Revenge Porn most frequently occurs when a romantic relationship, or relationship of trust, ends and one party publicizes the material in order to shame, humiliate, or destroy the other’s reputation. A key element of this conduct is that it is done without the consent of the person(s) featured in the image or video. Examining the new tort of public disclosure of embarrassing private facts shows that privacy is a fundamental right worthy of protection in civil disputes, particularly when the wrongful act is the non-consensual distribution of intimate images—Revenge Porn. An argument can be made that the devastating consequences of the tort entitle victims to a legal remedy in order to regain their sense of individual autonomy. By analyzing the criticisms and shortcomings expressed by opponents to the tort’s existence, salient recommendations to address the same can be made. Furthermore, a discussion of the comparable laws in other Canadian jurisdictions will aid in affirming the importance of legal recourse in Ontario against this type of privacy invasion.