The Toronto Real Estate Board says the privacy rights of consumers are at stake in a lawsuit brought against the board by Canadian regulators regarding the operation of virtual office websites (VOWs). Canada's Competition Bureau filed suit against TREB in May, claiming the board hasn't allowed brokers to provide consumers with access to detailed multiple listing service (MLS) data through password-protected VOWs like those operated by ZipRealty and Redfin in the U.S. In June, TREB -- North America's largest real estate board at 31,000 members -- published a proposed policy that would allow members to operate VOWs. Last month, in an amended complaint, the Competition Bureau said the proposed policy restricted the display of sold and pending listings and the compensation offered to the buyer's broker through VOWs, and alleged the policy would "entrench and perpetuate the traditional 'bricks and mortar' business model for providing real estate brokerage services," and &q...
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