VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s information and privacy commissioner has ordered a Surrey-based vigilante group to stop posting personal information about two men the group alleges are linked to child luring.
Acting information and privacy commissioner Drew McArthur says in his ruling that Surrey Creep Catcher violated B.C.’s Personal Information Protection Act by gathering and posting information about the men.
McArthur investigated complaints from two people and says the group used deceptive or misleading practices when it communicated with them and made video recordings of their meetings.
The decision says the recordings were posted to social media along with added allegations that the men had attempted to lure and meet with a minor for sexual purposes.
Surrey Creep Catcher defended itself saying that it wasn’t violating laws because it was acting for journalistic purposes, a claim McArthur rejected in his decision.
McArthur says the group made no effort to provide an accurate and fair description of the facts, and he has given the group 30 days to remove videos and personal details of the men from its social media sites.
“In short, the organization’s true purpose in collecting, using and disclosing personal information is to “name and shame” those whom it considers to be creeps, rather than offer a journalistic perspective on the issue,” he says in his written decision released Tuesday.
McArthur has also ordered the group to destroy all of its records, video and communications with the complainants.
Surrey Creep Catcher president Ryan Laforge was not immediately available for an interview, but he told Vancouver radio station CKNW that he will not comply with the ruling.
“No, the whole purpose of what we do is to protect children from these guys,” he says. (The Canadian Press, CKNW)
The Canadian Press
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