eBay Canada Limited v. Canada (National Revenue), 2007 FC 930 (CanLII)

  • September 18, 2007

Date: 2007-09-18 Docket: T-2124-06. Hughes J. | Link

An application to review an order to divulge account, address and sales volume information about Canadian eBay sellers who qualified for the PowerSeller program by virtue of the volume of their sales. The information on the PowerSellers is stored in servers in the U.S., but can be accessed by eBay Canada. "[16] The issue before me is, therefore, whether section 231.2 of the Income Tax Act permits an Order that will require a Canadian resident to provide information to which it has access in Canada but is stored in data facilities owned by another party located outside Canada." "[23] The issue as to the reach of section 231.2 when information, though stored electronically outside Canada, is available to and used by those in Canada, must be approached from the point of view of the realities of today's world. Such information cannot truly be said to "reside" only in one place or be "owned" by only one person. The reality is that the information is readily and instantaneously available to those within the group of eBay entities in a variety of places. It is irrelevant where the electronically-stored information is located or who as among those entities, if any, by agreement or otherwise asserts "ownership" of the information. It is "both here and there" to use the words of Justice Binnie in Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada v. Canadian Ass'n of Internet Providers, [2004] 2 S.C.R. 427 at paragraph 59."  See also the Courts further reasons in Ebay Canada Limited v. Canada (National Revenue), 2008 FC 180 (CanLII), dated 2008-2-13.