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Why Privacy Matters

I was reading the news today and came across this story about Google facing fines in the U.S. The company is allegedly delaying a government inquiry into how it collected data about the public. The Federal Communications Commission is saying that Google gathered personal e-mails, text messages and other personal material through its Street View location service.

This got me thinking about just how important privacy is. I took a quick look at Twitter and wasn’t surprised by just how many people were shocked at this. Personal information made public on the Internet isn’t a nice thought.

On March 14, TREB released the results of an Angus Reid Vision Critical poll. Like the reaction to Google on Twitter, the results were overwhelming.

When asked about the consequences of the Competition Bureau’s actions, 75% of Ontarians believe that personal information, such as name and negotiated sale price, should be kept confidential by TREB members. Moreover, 70% of homeowners do not want their personal contact information released to the public.

Of course, this doesn’t surprise me. Buying or selling a house is one of the biggest financial decisions any of us will make. REALTORS® have access to personal, sensitive information and an obligation to protect it. TREB REALTORS® subscribe to a Code of Ethics and have an obligation to protect consumers’ personal information. As a REALTOR® myself, I know how important privacy is to GTA home sellers. I hear from clients time and time again just how important their privacy is to them.

Privacy matters because it matters to Ontarians. If privacy matters to you, visit the Take Action page to spread our message.

Richard Silver
President, TREB