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Panel rejects TREB call for closed hearing

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Guest | 25 Sep 2012, 05:18 PM Agree 0

TREB’s request was turned down by Tribunal chair Justice Sandra Simpson in consideration of the objections from lawyers for the Competition Commissioner and reporters covering the hearing.
However, Simpson said that MLS data for specific property listings will be removed before being entered into the public record.
The data to be edited include names of homeowners, mortgage and commission information as well as virtual tour pictures of the home interiors – information which Realtors often give out to their clients anyway.
The hearing, which resumes today, is officially meant to determine whether TREB has engaged in anti-competitive practices in its use of the MLS system. The case has raised the same issue across the country, with real estate boards under pressure to lower the drawbridge around that listing service and allow sellers more unfettered and direct access to the kind of seller information
Simpson will have bowdlerized from the hearing transcripts.
TREB maintains it was worried about possible privacy violations might occur if certain sensitive MLS data is released.
However, others are concerned that TREB wants to maintain control over the MLS solely as a way of neutralizing the growing threat of so-called Virtual Office Websites, which offer cheaper services to homebuyers.
  • TF | 27 Sep 2012, 06:56 PM Agree 0
    crazy... realtors pay for creating the mls site & entering/maintaining the integrity of that data. Why should other companies or public have full access to our database? Does the average joe have access to lawyer's databases? doctor's databases? maybe I'm not understanding why they have the right to demand access to our data :-(
  • o | 27 Sep 2012, 07:04 PM Agree 0
    Agreed. If TREB must open their proprietary data base this opens it up for every other industry from lawyers to doctors to advertising companies. We've paid for it and built it and continue to pay for it and build it. CREA didn't have to build - as agents we chose to offer the public this access tool. Currently TREB also offers Virtual offices. Third party companies have access to the data base so what is TREB doing that is so anti competitive and how will this effect every other board across Canada?
  • RC | 27 Sep 2012, 07:09 PM Agree 0
    What is truly of note is that the the tribunal chair is removing any sensitive personal information data before having it entered into the public record.
    Funny...that's part of TREB's argument: that this kind of personal information should not be available to the general public who are not bound by a code of ethics or any potential disciplinary action.
  • Violet Turner | 28 Sep 2012, 02:50 PM Agree 0
    It's unbelievable that anyone outside of the Real Estate Profession that has been trained, licensed, pay their yearly dues and are bound by a code of ethics would have the right to demand access to a database that has been built and paid for by it's members. Am I missing something?
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