Saturday, May 23, 2009

Prevent private info from falling into wrong hands

We are one of the many 'victims' of cold calls made by property agents, and the calls have become more frequent in recent weeks, possibly because of the economic downturn.

When we demanded to know how they obtained our personal particulars, the agents told us that we are in their 'yellow pages', where the personal particulars of new residential owners or existing ones are 'bought and collated' by a private company, which in turn sells them to property agencies.
It seems that our particulars were purchased for a mere $1.60. Our residential telephone number is listed as private, yet the agents were able to obtain it.

We understand that lawyers need to file new owners' particulars when they lodge a caveat. The particulars then become public information accessible on the Internet.

But is there any way the relevant authorities can help to prevent such information from falling into the hands of companies which are making big bucks at the expense of invading the privacy of home owners?

Doesn't the Institute of Estate Agents have a code of conduct requiring its members not to ?harass? new or existing home owners by making cold calls?

Shung Lai Lin (Mrs)

Source: Straits Times, 23 May 2009

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