Handling personal data requests from law enforcement agencies – Know Your Rights

If you or your business is facing personal data requests from the police or other law enforcement agencies, you may have legal grounds to resist such a request. However, in some instances your personal data could be released to agencies without your knowledge. The commercial and civil litigation solicitors at Rogerson Law have years of experience in advising and representing professionals and individuals on data protection requests.

Rogerson Law Group provides civil litigation services in the entire GTA including Toronto, Scarborough, Mississauga, Vaughan, Brampton, Richmond Hill, Etobicoke, and Barrie and surrounding areas with offices located in downtown Toronto, Barrie, and associated offices in Ottawa.

Telecoms customer data

In June 2014, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of telecoms customers after the police in Canada had been asking telecom companies to voluntarily hand over Canadian customers’ data more than a million times every year. The court ruled this to be an invasion of privacy and requests should be made with a warrant.

However, despite the ruling the police are still reportedly requesting telecoms companies for personal information without a police warrant. Although the number of ‘warrantless’ requests have gone down drastically, many requests are now being made with warrants.

Information typically being requested includes customers’ names and addresses, internet protocol address, and telephone numbers – data that the authorities can utilise to show online activity when, for instance, investigation suspected criminal activities.

Without their knowledge

However, customers are not informed when their data has been requested or even shared. Most likely, they would only ever find out if it was used as evidence in a court case or they were charged with a criminal offence.

In addition, it has been confirmed that many federal authorities keep few or no records of their data requests made to telecommunications companies, whilst some federal agencies refused to disclose their data.

How can we help?

Law enforcement agencies are considering how broadly the Supreme Court ruling should apply. In the meantime, if you are concerned about data requests and what information may be shared with the authorities and how this may affect you, contact our civil litigation team for immediate advice at enquiries@rogersonlaw.com