"This order provides little protection for the consumer and opens the door to misuse and abuse of their sensitive personal financial information and the content of an Agreement of Purchase and Sale contract that has not closed. The consumer has privacy rights and only the consumer should be the one to determine, with clear understanding, when and where their personal financial information is disclosed," said John DiMichele, TREB's chief executive officer.
The Competition Tribunal ordered TREB to release its data to the public in late June.
However, according to TREB, privacy laws stipulate consent has to be given prior to the release of personal financial information, including sold prices for homes.
"The issue for TREB is about duty of care and professional responsibility. TREB has grown to more than 45,000 Members across the GTA and does not discriminate between business models used by its Members. In fact, we welcome and support all innovation and business models,” DiMichele said.
“Make no mistake, this decision should raise concern for all consumers about informed consumer consent and disclosure of confidential content within an Agreement of Purchase and Sale contract that has not closed. TREB believes the case law is clear and the Digital Privacy Act and Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) are very specific on consents.
“TREB believes it's the consumer's information and they have a right to choose. Choice and consent with respect to personal financial information does not impede innovation."
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The Toronto Real Estate Board is appealing the decision by the Competition Tribunal that would force the board to release its sold and pending sold data, citing privacy concerns.