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September 10, 2014

Facebook Usage History Ordered Produced

Social media can be a useful investigative tool for defendants.  In an interesting twist, a Nova Scotia court has ordered the plaintiff's Facebook usage history produced.

In Conrod v. Caverley, 2014 NSSC 35 (S.C.), the plaintiff claimed she sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident that compromised her ability to work and participate in recreational and social activities.  She complained of problems that limited the time she is able to spend using websites like Facebook.  The Nova Scotia Rules require "relevant" documents be produced.

Although Justice McDougall was not prepared to order production of the plaintiff's private portion of her Facebook account, he was satisfied the usage records were relevant and ordered they be produced:

[55]         I am satisfied that the Facebook usage data requested by the Defendants is relevant to whether Ms. Conrod's injuries have affected her ability to concentrate and the information should be produced.   The privacy interests implicated in this case are far less significant than in Laushway and Bishop where production of a party's entire hard drive was ordered so that evidence could be extracted by a third party.  The usage records sought by the Defendants can be easily obtained by Ms. Conrod and the contents will not reveal any potentially sensitive personal information about her internet activity such as websites she visits or private conversations she participates in on the internet.

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