In a recent case, the Court of Appeal for Ontario, Canada recognized the privacy torts that are widely-recognized in the United States. Many foreign common law jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom and other countries, have steadfastly refused to recognize the privacy torts spawned by the 1890 law review article by Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis, The Right to Privacy, 4 Harv. L. Rev. 193 (1890). These torts – intrusion upon seclusion, public disclosure of private facts, false light, and appropriation of name or likeness – are known collectively as “invasion of privacy.” In the case of Jones v. Tsige, 2012 ONCA 42 (Jan. 18, 2012), the Court of Appeal for Ontario finally recognized the US privacy tort of intrusion upon seclusion – intentionally intruding upon a person’s seclusion or solitude, or into his private affairs.
A federal court in Hawaii is allowing a tort claim to proceed against a videogame maker for not warning a user that he could become addicted to the videogame and be a “joystick junkie”, notwithstanding the limitation of liability contained in the End User Licensing Agreement. This entry explores the implications of such a tort claim in the context of privacy notices and suggests a way to thwart such claims and at the same time better inform consumers.