An Interesting Cyberbullying Case and Diminished Privacy

In this Google world of diminished privacy many of my clients are concerned about social media postings. I found a recent Canadian cyberbullying case interesting.

In A.B. v. Bragg Communicatoins, Inc., 2012 SCC 46, a 15 year old girl found out that someone had posted a fake Facebook profile using her picture, a slightly modified version of her name and other particulars identifying her.

The picture was accompanied by unflattering commentary about the girl’s appearance along with sexually explicit references. Through her father as her guardian the girl brought an order requiring the Internet provider to disclose the identity of the persons who used the IP address to publish the profile so she could identify potential defendants for an action of defamation.

As part of her application she asked permission to anonymously seek the idenity of the creator of the profile and for a publication ban on the content of the profile. Two media groups opposed the request for anonymity and the bank.

The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia granted the request that the Internet provider disclose the information about the publisher of the profile, but denied the request for anonymity and the publication because there was insufficient evidence of specific harm to the girl.

The Judge stayed that part of his order requiring the Internet provider to disclose the publisher’s identity until either a successful appeal allowed the girl to proceed anonymously or until she filed a draft order that used her real name and her father’s real name.

It never ceases to amaze me not only how much concern there should be about what you post about yourself but also about what others outside of your control post about you (and your family).


Patricia Annino is a sought after speaker and nationally recognized authority on women and estate planning. She educates and empowers women to value themselves and their contributions in order to ACCOMPLISH GREAT THINGS in the world – and in so doing PROTECT THEMSELVES, those they love, and the organizations they care about. Annino recently released an updated version of her successful book, Women and Money: A Practical Guide to Estate Planning to include recent changes in the laws that govern how we protect our assets during and beyond our lifetime. To download Annino’s FREE eBook, Estate Planning 101 visit,