CCPA Advisory

(C.A.R. Form CCPA, 12/19)

As of January 1, 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act (commencing with Civil Code § 1798.100) (“CCPA”) grants to California residents certain rights in their private, personal information that is collected by companies with whom they do business. Under the CCPA, “personal information” is defined broadly to encompass non-public records information that could reasonably be linked directly or indirectly to you, including, potentially, photographs of or sales information about your property. Some of your personal information will be collected and likely shared with others during the process of buying and selling real estate. Depending on the situation, you may have the right to “opt-out” or stop the transfer of your personal information to others and request that certain businesses delete your personal information altogether. Not all businesses you interact with are required to comply with the law, primarily just those who meet the criteria of a covered“Business” as set forth in Section 1798.140 (c)]. For more information, you may ask your Broker for a copy of the C.A.R.Legal Q&A on the subject.

A real estate broker is likely to submit personal information to a Multiple Listing Service (“MLS”) in order to help find a buyer for a seller’s property. Through the MLS, the information is made available to real estate brokers and salespeople, and others. Even after a sale is complete, the MLS distributes sales information to the real estate community. Brokers, agents, and MLSs may also share your personal information with others who post personal information on websites or elsewhere or otherwise use it. Thus, there are various service providers and companies in a real estate transaction who may be engaged in using or sharing data involving your personal information.

If your broker is a covered Business, it should have a privacy policy explaining your rights on its website and giving you an opportunity to request that personal information not be shared, used, and even deleted. Even if your real estate brokerage is a covered Business, it needs and is allowed, to keep your information to effectuate a sale and, by law, is required to maintain such information for three years to comply with regulatory requirements. Not all brokers have covered Businesses, however, and those that are not, do not have to comply with the CCPA.
Similarly, most MLSs will not be considered a covered Business. Instead, the MLS may be considered a Third Party in the event a covered Business (ex: brokerages, real estate listing aggregation or advertising internet sites or other outlets who meet the criteria of covered Businesses) exchanges personal information with the MLS. You do not have the right under the CCPA to require a Third Party to delete your personal information. And like real estate brokerages, even if an MLS is covered Business, MLSs are also required by law to retain and make accessible in its computer system any and all listing and other information for three years.

Whether an MLS is a covered Business or a Third Party, you have a right to be notified about the sharing of your personal information and your right to contact a covered Business to opt-out of your personal information being used, or shared with Third Parties. Since the MLSs and/or other entities receiving your personal information do not have direct contact with buyers and sellers and also may not be aware of which entities exchanging personal information are coveredBusinesses, this form is being used to notify you of your rights under the CCPA and your ability to direct requests covered Businesses not to share personal information with Third Parties. One way to limit access to your personal information is to inform your broker or salesperson you want to opt-out of the MLS, and if so, you will be asked to sign a document (Form SELM) confirming your request to keep your listing off the MLS. However, if you do so, it may be more difficult to sell your property or obtain the highest price for it because your property will not be exposed to the greatest number of real estate licensees and others.

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