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 1 and Part 2.) Concern over identity theft has skyrocketed in the wake of scandals last year over information theft from ChoicePoint and LexisNexis, among others, but industry experts say consumers' sensitive mortgage-related data is well protected. It's easy to see why protection is necessary. Late last year, the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center in San Diego reported 110 security breaches affecting 56.3 million individuals in the United States. Also last year, Na...
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