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Industry News
Thursday, February 13, 2020

The American Land Title Association’s (ALTA) newly released data privacy principles recommend the development of a single, national standard.

ALTA said its principles protect consumer private information uniformly and consistently while maintaining an efficient home buying and selling experience.

“The patchwork of state privacy laws creates inconsistent protection of data and confusion for both consumers and businesses seeking to understand these statutes and compliance obligations,” ALTA CEO Diane Tomb said in a release. “Having a federal standard for data privacy would help eliminate the disparity and uncertainty.”

“Protecting consumer information is a priority of the title and settlement industry,” Tomb said. “Since 2013, ALTA’s Best Practices have included requirements for a written privacy and information security program to protect non-public personal information.”

ALTA’s principles include exemptions for entities already subject to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, personal information that is already publicly available and business-to-business relationships. The association’s principles also say data privacy laws should recognize the need for businesses to share personal information needed complete a transaction, and consideration also should be given to the impact on small business, regarding the cost of compliance relative to the risk of consumer harm.

“The conversation occurring at the federal level about data privacy is important, and we hope these principles provide a guidepost to the development of single standard that simplifies compliance and eliminates confusion,” Tomb said.