A recent discussion took place between Realtors and Lawyers regarding home surveillance systems such as web cams and/or nanny cams in homes for sale.
Topics discussed were breaching privacy of prospective buyer’s while they discussed confidential information about pricing or motivation and the legality of a home seller being able to do this.
*Nanny and Web Cams in Homes for Sale
Taken from the Alberta Real Estate Association’s AREAHUB
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms defines the fundamental question to be asked in any situation where an individual’s privacy may be at risk: “Should there be a reasonable expectation of privacy?”
This question has been formalized federally by the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Document Act (PIPEDA) and provincially by Alberta’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). While these pieces of legislation do not apply to individuals, they codify the factors to be analyzed in a breach scenario. This involves a balancing of necessity, effectiveness, proportionality and minimalism.
The Canadian Criminal Code states that breach on an individual level is only acceptable via explicit or implied consent, judicial authorization or good faith belief of acting in accordance with someone with consent or authorization.
Finally, the common law has recently recognized the right to pursue an action for the recovery of damages for invasion of privacy between individuals. This is the most effective way in which to address privacy infractions between individuals.
From the seller’s perspective, the principles to be derived from the foregoing can be summarized as follows:
- The use of recording equipment must be reasonable in terms of its objectives, location and scope.
- The equipment must represent the most appropriate means to achieve the desired end, with minimal intrusion upon privacy.
- The use of recording equipment must be disclosed to the individuals being monitored.
The AREA has made recommendations for listing realtors and homeowners - listing realtors MUST post - preferably on the front door or somewhere clearly visible prior to entering, a notice/warning stating use of such equipment.
As for buyer’s, I have always felt and typically forewarned prospective home buyer’s to assume you are being watched, because you never know.
The most important part of this topic is there are now some guidelines in place that hopefully are going to be followed as it would be nice to know if you’re being watched and/or recorded while viewing a home.
What are your thoughts?
About the Author
Dan Welyk has been a Licensed Real Estate Professional since 1999 and has grown up in the Real Estate Industry. FindNewDigs.com brings home buyer's and home owners together to find useful information, tools and ideas.
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