Separation, Divorce and Privacy Protection Issues

Separation, Divorce and Privacy Protection Issues/

Separation, Divorce and Privacy Protection Issues

Nick Van Duyvenbode 25 October 2017

When separating or divorcing, parties often are faced with having to disentangle and protect their personal information, whether that being accounts with passwords, back-up questions to accounts, cloud computing with automatic uploading of information or social media access.

What Can You Do to Protect Your Personal Information?

Separating or divorcing spouses are strongly encouraged to review and protect their information with new account passwords and review their settings for their personal accounts to ensure privacy. Without doing so clients put themselves at considerable risk of letting their former spouses know the intimate details and communication with others about their new life that they are embarking upon.

Many clients can be shocked to learn these mistakes and that their former spouse has been monitoring them, sometimes after a lengthy period of time. Parties have little recourse other than having to then factor into their future plans prevention of this, and damage control over what personal information is now in the control of their former spouse.

How Can Private Information be Compromised?

Former spouses can also go to the extent of installing programs on devices such as cellphones, tablets and computers that record every keystroke or take images of the screen which are then recorded and controlled by this spyware as a permanent record. In cases where clients are very concerned about this issue, it is critical that parties reset devices to factory settings to better prevent security threats of this kind.  Some businesses can also run diagnostic support tests to review whether these programs exist on your device.  

Finally, divorcing spouses can take private information and share this with friends, family or employers and post information publicly for all to see. This information can be the most intimate of details or recorded content, pictures, videos, texts, emails etc.; content that you would never want anyone to see.

What Can the Courts do to Protect Your Privacy?

Clients do have recourse when this occurs and the courts in Canada are increasingly identifying privacy rights over content that clearly was never the intention of a party to have available outside of the parties’ relationship. As a result, Canadian courts have handed down punitive measures against the party sharing this information as well as ordering that this information be taken down publicly and cease and desist orders against the particular behaviour and the content being shared. 

If you have concerns about protecting your privacy when separating or divorcing from your spouse, take prudent steps to protect your personal information and prevent any public shaming occurring, by taking legal action that immediately limits any ongoing or future exposure of your information.  

Contact RCMV Law today to get help from one of our experienced Calgary family lawyers.

Written by Nicholas j. Van Duyvenbode

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