Legislation is always struggling to keep up with technology and in this age of digitization and the internet this has never been truer. But sometimes existing laws can be adapted to solve a new problem area. Recently a federal court in Los Angeles just held that trespass was a viable legal theory to address the alleged distribution of spyware and adware programs. More recently the UK Culture Secretary pointed out that the UK Government did not want more EC legislation applied to the internet to protect children as existing criminal law was more than sufficient to deal with new forms of criminal behaviour facilitated by the internet. A recent Canadian (Ontario) decision has held that invasion of privacy is a common law tort and other Canadian provinces such as Quebec already have a statutory tort for invasion of privacy – again laws which could be applied to privacy invasion in and by digital media.
See Law Updates Archive February 2006
Invasion of privacy is a tort see http://www.canlii.org/on/cas/onsc/2006/2006onsc10045.html
Somwar v McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Ltd , 2006 CanLII 202 Ontario Supreme Court.