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Submission to the OPC’s Consultation on Consent under PIPEDA (Toronto Real Estate Board)

Toronto Real Estate Board

October 2016

Note: This submission was contributed by the author to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s Consultation on Consent under PIPEDA.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.


Founded in 1920, the Toronto Real Estate Board (“TREB”) is Canada's largest real estate board, serving more than 45,000 licensed real estate brokers and salespersons in and about the Greater Toronto Area. TREB serves the collective voice for both its commercial and residential REALTOR® Members.

The business practice of TREB members involves the direct collection of personal information of consumers and the use and disclosure of such information for specific authorized purposes. TREB’s policy is to respect the privacy rights of consumers. TREB remains vigilant in advising its members as to how best to market real estate while ensuring the protection of personal information.

With respect to consent, TREB’s view is that sufficient flexibility is already built into PIPEDA. This flexibility permits a more sophisticated approach to “consent management”.

Consent should be a dynamic rather than static process and one that recognizes that organizations need to have a further degree of engagement with individuals over “downstream” uses.

TREB is of the view that Privacy by Design concepts should be considered as part of an organization’s accountability, limiting retention, openness and safeguards obligations that currently exist under PIPEDA. No separate legislation, or amendment of PIPEDA, is required.

While codes of practice would provide a degree of standardization, TREB believes this would only be practical and workable if the OPC is willing to assist those sectors in the development and review of such codes.

TREB believes a privacy seal program, operating alongside PIPEDA, has the potential to increase the regulatory burden of organizations without demonstrating corresponding benefits.

TREB is of the opinion that the use of ethics boards should not be pursued.

TREB is of the view that the OPC should have an order-making power requiring organizations to take specific actions to prevent further repeats of the acts or practices investigated and found to be non-compliant. Such power should be clearly subject to judicial review. However, the power to compensate any loss or damage suffered (which may include humiliation suffered by the complainant or injury to the complainant's feelings) or administrative monetary penalties should remain with the Federal Court.

The full submission is available in the following language(s):

English (PDF document)

Note: As this submission was provided by an entity not subject to the Official Languages Act, the full document is only available in the language provided.
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