Toronto Real Estate Board fights order to release housing data

Monday Jul 11th, 2016

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The Toronto Real Estate Board is appealing an order to unlock crucial data about home sales, on the grounds that it runs counter to privacy laws. The Tribunal ordered TREB in June to not withhold information such as past selling price and how long a home was on the market before selling, except in circumstances where a home seller “affirmatively directed” the realtor to not release listing information online. TREB says it supports competition among its 45,000 realtor members but the policy was intended to protect the privacy of consumers' personal financial information. “This [Competition Tribunal] order provides little protection for the consumer and opens the door to misuse and abuse of their sensitive personal financial information,” said TREB CEO John DiMichele in a statement. “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.” The board has applied for a stay that would postpone the Aug. 3 deadline for complying with the tribunal's order until the appeal is resolved. TREB says it filed its appeal with the Federal Court on Friday.

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