Top Three Questions About the Privacy Notice and Consent Form
Privacy laws in British Columbia require that informed consent is obtained before collecting, using, and disclosing the personal information of individuals. BCREA created the Privacy Notice and Consent form to support REALTORS® in providing disclosure and documenting the informed consent of consumers regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of their personal information. Having a consumer sign and date the form documents that the disclosure has been made and the consumer has consented to the Realtor using their personal information.
To ensure you feel confident when working with the Privacy Notice and Consent form and explaining the form to consumers, you can find answers to three frequently asked questions about the form below. These questions cover using the Privacy Notice and Consent form with unrepresented parties, how often you should complete a new form, and who needs to date and sign the form.
1. Do Realtors need to consider privacy matters when dealing with an unrepresented party? Does an unrepresented party need to sign the Privacy Notice and Consent form?
Any time a Realtor is collecting, using or disclosing personal information from or about a consumer, whether they are a represented or unrepresented party, the Realtor is required to obtain that person's consent to do so under applicable privacy laws. When obtaining such consent, you must give that person sufficient detail about the purpose of your collection, use and disclosure of that personal information. The Privacy Notice and Consent form may be an appropriate way of making this disclosure and obtaining such consent. However, this should be determined on a case-by-case basis and will depend on the actual purposes for which the personal information is being collected and used.
The Privacy Notice and Consent form is not meant to establish an agency relationship - it is merely a disclosure and consent regarding collection, use and disclosure of personal information. If you intend to create an agency relationship, you should make sure all parties are clear as to the terms of such agency (whether written or verbal) and you must always provide the disclosures required by applicable laws.
2. If privacy of personal information is based on each transaction, does a Realtor need to complete a new Privacy Notice and Consent form for each individual transaction? For example, if a client sells their home and a Realtor is helping them buy another home a week later or if a listing is cancelled and relisted?
If the timeframe for each transaction is short, it could be appropriate to use one Privacy Notice and Consent form for both transactions. However, it would be best practice to complete a new Privacy Notice and Consent form for each transaction, as required uses of personal information and consents may evolve during your relationship with the consumer and ongoing disclosure is encouraged.
3. Why doesn't the Realtor need to sign the form? Is it only the consumers that need to date it when they sign it or is the Realtor expected to date it as well when they complete it?
The Privacy Notice and Consent form is meant to provide disclosure to and gain consent from a consumer regarding the collection, use and disclosure of the consumer's personal information. The consumer is required to sign and date the form as evidence that the disclosure has been made and the consumer has consented to the Realtor using the consumer's personal information. The name of the designated agent and the brokerage should be included in the form as the person receiving the consent, but the Realtor does not need to sign or date the form.
You can find additional resources on the Privacy Notice and Consent form at the links below (REALTOR Link® login may be required):
- Privacy Notice and Consent Form FAQs
- Privacy Notice and Consent Form Webinar
- Personal Information Protection Act Website
- CREA Privacy Code
For more Standard Forms resources, including training toolkits that offer a comprehensive look into a variety of common standard forms, visit BCREA's Standard Forms Resource Centre.
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