TREB appeals tribunal decision

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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.

"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."
  • Paul Cronin on 2016-07-11 11:01:47 AM

    I 100 % agree that privacy and personal sales information should be disclosed only after consumer consent..
    Thank you for going to bat for all members of TREB.

  • Blair Anderson on 2016-07-11 11:33:26 AM

    In Ontario, my province, there are 66 Land Registry Offices (LRO). They keep detailed records for all title transfers, and registered mortgages. This is a public institution. What is the mystery? Any one of us can access the title history on any property in the province with little cost and inconvenience. Sorry TREB, this is not proprietary.

  • annie thai on 2016-07-11 12:39:30 PM

    I am kind of thinking they treat the TREB like the government who has the obligation to release private information upon request.
    first it is private information.
    secondly we will charge a $10 for each house information the buyer wants ,if it is 1000 houses information , then they will have to pay $10000.00

  • Leo Bradshaw on 2016-07-11 1:28:27 PM

    Blair you are right but it is the privacy aspect of getting the info before the deal has closed that is the real problem along with the fact that there are lazy people that want to mooch of of Treb's hard work. Let them go down to the Land Registry Offices and learn how to do what Real Estate Agents have done for decades past to get it to where it is now. Treb's info should be theirs. It doesn't stop people from getting the info as the freeloaders you refer to want.

  • Omer Quenneville on 2016-07-11 2:37:33 PM

    The storage and how the information is collected and handled should be considered proprietary and lets not forget, it is incomplete, TREB does not track for sale by owners on it's system. As you mentioned their are 66 Land registry offices that keep more detailed and complete information. Let them go through the expense of making this information available, they can pay for it from the land transfer tax. OR maybe the government can turn over the land transfer tax to TREB to compensate them for compiling this information for public use.

  • Myer Betel on 2016-07-11 2:40:44 PM

    If I hold a Judgement, or a second Mortgage on a property that is in default , I can find the name of the 1st Mortgagee, the original amount and the interest rate, but a bank will not disclose outstanding balance , without 2nd Mortgagee obtaining a Court Order at very substantial cost and delay, because of Privacy legislation .
    Why should anyone be able to access information on pending sales?
    IF sale falls through Vendor may be prejudiced.
    Province and Teranet do a very substantial business buying and selling information that in other Jurisdictions are prohibited.
    Irrational but profitable

  • Ron Butler on 2016-07-12 11:38:59 AM

    This is a tough one, TREB did build the database but they are a bit of a closed shop. It is a similar to Rogers and Bell, they spent the money to build the cellular system but does that mean they can charge whatever they want to the public forever? In Canada we still have some of the highest cellular fees in the developed world. Does it mean that the real estate agents will control the real estate data base forever? Will that mean we will eternally have very few options when it comes to buying and selling real estate? In democratic societies government has the right to review monopolistic practices even though the monopolies spent the money to create their own monopoly. This is a not an easy one.

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