NAR Principles: Data Privacy and Security

REALTORS® recognize that as data collection continues to become a valuable asset for building relationships with their clients, so does their responsibility to be trusted custodians of that data. Consumers are demanding increased transparency and control of how their data is used. While each state has its own definition of “Personally Identifiable Information,” for purposes of these principles “personal information” will be interpreted broadly to mean any information that can be used to uniquely identify, contact, or locate a single person or can be used with other sources to uniquely identify a single individual.

For this reason, REALTORS® endorse the following Data Privacy and Security principles:

Collection of Personal Information Should be Transparent

REALTORS® should recognize and respect the privacy expectations of their clients. They are encouraged to develop and implement privacy and data security policies and to communicate those policies clearly to their clients.

Use, Collection, and Retention of Personal Information 

REALTORS® should collect and use information about individuals only where the REALTOR® reasonably believes it would be useful (and allowed by law) to administering their business and to provide products, services and other opportunities to consumers. REALTORS® should maintain appropriate policies for the reasonable retention and proper destruction of collected personal information.

Data Security

REALTORS® should maintain reasonable security standards and procedures regarding access to client information.

Disclosure of Personal Information to Third Parties

REALTORS® should not reveal personal information to unaffiliated third parties unless 1) the information is provided to help complete a consumer initiated transaction 2) the consumer requests it; 3) the disclosure is required by/or allowed by law (i.e. investigation of fraudulent activity); or 4) the consumer has been informed about the possibility of such disclosure through a prior communication and is given the opportunity to decline (i.e. opt-out).

Maintaining Consumer Privacy in Business Relationships with Third Parties

If a REALTOR® provides personal information to a third party on behalf of a consumer, the third party should adhere to privacy principles similar to the REALTOR® that provides for keeping such information secure.

Single Federal Standard

NAR supports a single federal standard for data privacy and security laws in order to streamline and minimize the compliance burden.