Their first instinct was to make life more difficult for home buyers – rather than check their obligations under GDPR
Estate agents who sought their customers personal data, in breach of their GDPR obligations, should apologise to their customers, according to Social Democrats Housing Spokesperson Cian O’Callaghan.
Deputy O’Callaghan was responding after the Data Protection Commissioner confirmed there was no justification for estate agents to demand detailed personal data – including financial statements – in order to facilitate a viewing.
“This announcement by the Data Protection Commissioner, was not a surprise. It previously issued advice stating landlords and letting agents – requesting similar information to arrange a viewing for prospective tenants – were in breach of their GDPR obligations.
“This advice was not difficult to find. Despite this nobody, in a number of high-profile estate agents, apparently made any effort to find it. Their first instinct was to make life more difficult for home buyers – rather than quickly, and easily, check their obligations under GDPR.
“Now that the DPC has discovered a whole host of estate agents that were in breach of their GDPR obligations, what are they going to do about it? Will they be doing an audit of these businesses?
“How could estate agents have imagined it was right, or proper, to request detailed financial information to merely arrange a viewing of a property? How many home buyers were denied viewings because they failed, or refused, to provide information that estate agents were not entitled to seek?
“I am calling on those estate agents who engaged in this, to immediately apologise to the people they may have disenfranchised with this arrogant overreach.
“They should also confirm that they will no longer seek this personal information to arrange viewings.”
22 June, 2021