03/02/2020

2017 FC 114 (CanLII) | CanLII

[4]
The applicant, A.T., resides in Calgary, Alberta. He is originally from Romania and continues to have
family there. At his request, and having considered the open court principle, the Court has agreed to substitute
initials for his name to offer a measure of protection of his identity. His full name appears in Court documents
served on the respondents in this matter but will not appear in the public online version of this decision.
[5]
The respondent Sebastian Radulescu is the sole owner and operator of Globe24h.com, a Romanianbased website that republishes public documents from a number of countries, particularly Canada. While
Globe24h.com has also been named as a respondent in this application, there is no evidence in the record that the
website is a separate legal entity or that anyone other than Mr. Radulescu controls the website. I will refer to Mr.
Radulescu and Globe24h.com collectively as the respondent.
[6]
On October 30, 2015, the respondent was served with the Notice of Application and supporting
materials pursuant to the Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or
Commercial Matters (The Hague Convention). The respondent has not filed a notice of appearance under Rule 305
of the Federal Courts Rules, SOR/98-106 [FCR], and did not participate in this proceeding. Upon being satisfied
that the respondent was given notice of the date and place of the hearing, the Court proceeded in the absence of the
respondent in accordance with Rule 38 of the FCR.
[7]
The Privacy Commissioner of Canada (the Commissioner), appointed under section 53 of the Privacy
Act, RSC 1985, c P-2, is assigned responsibilities under PIPEDA including the investigation of complaints under
section 12. On March 15, 2016, the Commissioner’s motion to appear as a party to this application was granted by
the Case Management Judge, Roger R. Lafreniére. The Commissioner participated as an added respondent, filed
documentary evidence and submitted written and oral representations. I will refer to the added respondent as the
Commissioner and to his office as the OPCC.
[8]
While no responding record was filed by Mr. Radulescu or Globe24h.com, the record submitted by the
Commissioner contains communications from Mr. Radulescu in which he sets out several positions regarding the
complaint against him and his website. In those communications, Mr. Radulescu displays some familiarity with
Canadian law, in particular PIPEDA, and with the OPCC complaint process. He also demonstrates awareness of
Canadian media reports about the controversy which his website has generated. There is no indication that the
respondent was not aware that he could contest the application should he have chosen to do so.
B.

Complaints to the OPCC

[9]
The respondent operates Globe24h.com from Constanta, Romania. The server that hosts the website is
also located in Romania. The OPCC tendered extensive evidence about the respondent’s activities and complaints
from Canadian citizens and residents with respect to information disclosed on the respondent’s website.
[10]
In July 2013, Globe24h.com began republishing Canadian court and tribunal decisions that are also
available on Canadian legal websites such as CanLII.org. The difference between these other websites and
Globe24h.com is that the respondent has permitted the decisions that are republished on his website to be located via
third party search engines such as Google. Moreover, because decisions on Globe24h.com are indexed by search
engines, a decision containing an individual’s name will generally appear in search results when the individual’s
name is searched on such search engines.
[11]
Notably, the content of the Canadian legal websites is generally not indexed and a person seeking such
information must go directly to each site and conduct a search with the names of the parties, the style of cause
and/or the citation for the decision to obtain the content.
[12]
In October 2013, the OPCC began receiving complaints from individuals alleging that links to Canadian
court and tribunal decisions containing their personal information were appearing prominently in search results
when their names were entered in common search engines. Between October 2013 and June 2015, the OPCC
received a total of 38 complaints relating to Globe24h.com. From June 2015 to the date of filing of the OPCC’s
record, the OPCC had received a further 11 complaints, with the most recent complaint being filed in April 2016.
The OPCC investigated complaints from 27 individuals, including the applicant. The website of the Canadian Legal
Information Institute (CanLII) had also received over 150 complaints regarding Globe24h.com prior to April 2016.
https://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2017/2017fc114/2017fc114.html

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