I'm working on a novel and am stuck on a plot point that involves privacy law (the character lives in Vancouver). Specifically it's about whether the main character can use video from a hidden camera, or a location's security surveillance, to turn in a colleague who has done something illegal without getting sued.
Province/Territory relating to question: British Columbia
Online research via the privacy commission and criminal code.
I do entertainment law and I am a publisher.
I do not see a legal problem yet.
Without identifying you or anyone, what is the concern? This is fiction.
Thanks for responding. The character has been working at a major department store with a hidden camera in her badge. She doesn't get anything there. But she meets one of the store managers at her other job, a restaurant, and lures him into talking about some illegal things he did to employees at the store.
At this point she now has the spy cam in her purse.
She is going to give the footage to the media but doesn't want to get sued by either the manager as an individual or the department store chain, which has deep pockets.'
The spy cam recorded video and audio. Alternately, there is a security camera in the restaurant that also captured video and audio of the conversation, but would using that instead of the purse cam footage be legal? Just trying to find a way for my character to stick it to the company but not be destroyed financially in the process
Oh I see.
There is very little privacy any more. Even this chat is not private and is being broadcast all over the net not that anyone will care :0
Our images are taken on cameras many times a day. We consent to that most of the time by walking on to private property or by taking money out of an ATM.
I just wasn't sure if the audio element complicated things. Also, have been reading the criminal code's stance on "surreptitious interception" devices like spy cams
It is not illegal in Canada to record a conversation in audio or video as long as one of the people involved knows that it is being recorded.
That means that if we have a conversation by phone or in person, I can record it.
Okay - that's great!
That is because I am a participant in the conversation and I know it is being recorded even though I am the one recording it.
And in the story she is - phew! So that works plot-wise - if she'd filmed something she overheard while at the store it would be illegal, but because she was talking to the manager directly it's legal. I love when law and creativity work out!
Use of eve dropping technology otherwise is really fact based.
Ya. She had a hidden camera and wanted to talk. It was all recorded. It was a sting and completely legal.
Fantastic - was worried about entrapment but am relieved now. Woo hoo! Now I can finish this draft on time!
Thanks so much for making the time to answer me.
I am so pleased. Entrapment means someone makes someone else do something they would not do otherwise. This is just the ability to record a conversation.
So I guess being drunk and asked leading questions isn't entrapment. Yay!
If that's it I'll say thanks and get my rating in - much appreciated!
If it helps, a recorded conversation is also admissible in court.
That does - thank you.
Being drunk just goes to the intent of what was said.
Because the employees the manager harmed will be suing the store
That's beyond the narrative though - I'm just worried about what we've discussed
It is no proof that a statement was not made.
So, character A stated while drunk that he would kill me. The recorded evidence is no issue and he has no defence being drunk that he threatened my life or committed any other criminal offence.
The things he admits he did can be backed up with other evidence, so all's good there
Thanks, Tom - I appreciate this!
You have a novel then!
I have my ending!
Called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1991