Realtor Insight

In my efforts to help educate the public on Realtors and Real Estate, I thought this may be an interesting read for this weeks ?Realtors Insight?

Privacy and REALTORS®

In the usual course of real estate transactions, REALTORS® may require from buyers and sellers, personal and property information. Some of this information may be considered private. Collecting and sharing this and the real estate transaction information is an essential part of the buying and selling process.

At the same time, few things are more important to individuals than their privacy. REALTORS® recognize the rights of buyers and sellers to protect and control their personal information. REALTORS® are committed to using fair information practices when dealing with your personal information.

The federal government and three provincial governments now have laws in place dealing with how companies can collect and use your personal information. In British Columbia and Alberta, businesses abide by the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) of each province; in Québec, it is the Act Respecting the Protection of Personal Information in the Private Sector. In all other provinces and territories, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), the federal legislation, applies.

The basic concept of all of these laws is protection of consumer privacy. The laws require that consumers consent to the collection of their personal information, and provide restrictions on how that information may be used, disclosed, and kept. They allow consumers to access any of their own personal information that companies may have collected, and they provide for remedies in the event that the information on file is incomplete or inaccurate.

The CREA Privacy Code is based on the 10 principles of PIPEDA, the privacy legislation. Our Code has been in place since 2001, and is the declaration of organized real estate to the public that we respect the privacy rights of individuals and have adopted policies and procedures to protect those rights.

The Privacy Code of The Canadian Real Estate Association sets out the commitment of REALTORS® make regarding the privacy of your personal information. We will:

· Obtain your consent when we collect, use or disclose your personal information

· Only use the information for the purposes we discussed with you

· Allow you access to your information

· Have privacy policies that are clear and understandable

Privacy Code

PRINCIPLE 1 – ACCOUNTABILITY

Members are responsible for the proper management of all personal information under their control, and shall designate one or more persons to be accountable for compliance.

PRINCIPLE 2 – IDENTIFYING THE PURPOSES OF PERSONAL INFORMATION

Members shall identify the purposes of collecting information before or at the time the information is collected.

PRINCIPLE 3 – OBTAINING CONSENT

The knowledge and consent of the consumer are required for the collection, use or disclosure of personal information except where inappropriate.

PRINCIPLE 4 – LIMITING COLLECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION

Members shall limit the collection of personal information to that which is necessary for the purposes identified.

PRINCIPLE 5 – LIMITING USE, DISCLOSURE AND RETENTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION

Members shall use or disclose personal information only for the reason it was collected, except with the consent of the consumer or as required by law.

PRINCIPLE 6 – ACCURACY OF PERSONAL INFORMATION

Members shall keep personal information as accurate, complete, current and relevant as necessary for its identified purpose.

PRINCIPLE 7 – PROTECTING INFORMATION

Members shall protect personal information with safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the information.

PRINCIPLE 8 – OPENNESS CONCERNING POLICIES AND PRACTICES

Members shall make readily available to consumers specific information about their policies and practices relating to the management of personal information.

PRINCIPLE 9 – CONSUMER ACCESS TO PERSONAL INFORMATION

Upon request, members shall inform a consumer of the existence, use and disclosure of his or her personal information and shall give the individual access to that information.

PRINCIPLE 10 – CHALLENGING COMPLIANCE

A consumer shall be able to address a challenge concerning compliance with the above principles to the designated accountable person or persons in the member office.

Do you have a question, comment or opinion? Please share or feel free to ask, submit questions/comments or opinions to B.C. Force Connecting Buyers and Sellers in writing to Brenda Banham RE/MAX Dawson Creek Realty:

e-mail bbanham@neonet.bc.ca fax: 250-242-3256 or mail Box 1769 Tumbler Ridge, BC V0C 2W0 OR Claudette M.M. Huber RE/MAX Dawson Creek Realty: e-mail claudetterealty@xplornet.com fax: 250-242-4410 or mail Box 2106 Tumbler Ridge, BC V0C 2W0.