Editor's note: With identity theft and mortgage fraud on the rise, the security and privacy of consumer data in real estate transactions is a real concern, and experts say that companies need to manage security policies closely to improve consumer trust and protect themselves from lawsuits. In this three-part report, Inman News looks at three aspects of data protection: online property listings, options for small brokerage offices, and how the lender community is safeguarding sensitive consumer information. (See Part 2 and Part 3.) There is not a single way to protect real estate property listings information -- rather, there are several ways. And multiple listing services should fortify their defenses on several fronts and prepare for offensive strikes, too, if they are to successfully combat data thievery and misuse, say legal experts. Copyright protections, along with contractual language and click-based consent mechanisms to access online listings information, are...
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