CoStar and Zillow Among 118 U.S. Companies Being Sued for Alleged Personal Data Breaches

February 15, 2024
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Zillow and CoStar are among several real estate companies being sued for alleged breaches of a law designed to protect the personal information of law enforcement professionals and their families.

A company named Atlas Data Privacy Corp is taking the U.S. portal giants and 116 other "data brokers" to task for allegedly not complying with a request to cease disclosing personal information of 19,496 individuals.

The complaint is centred around a law that seeks to protect the personal details of law enforcement professionals and their families. Known as 'Daniel's Law', the legislation was enacted at federal and state levels in 2020 after a gunman killed Daniel Anderl, the 20-year-old son of a federal judge after finding the judge's address online.

Atlas has filed 118 suits against companies that operate as so-called "data brokers" including RE/MAX, the real estate data firm CoreLogic and CRM specialist Yardi.

"This complaint seeks to protect those important rights, against companies brokering data and choosing profit and personal gain over a critical public interest and the unequivocal mandate of the law. Companies in the business of disclosing this protected information have avoided accountability for far too long, proffering such information, including home addresses and unpublished home telephone numbers, without sufficient regard for the risks and consequences imposed upon individuals who serve critical judicial and law enforcement roles."  Atlas vs Zillow suit.

Atlas, which is itself a provider of privacy software, claims that the data brokers failed to respond to requests to cease the disclosure of personal information on the Internet. Daniel's Law states that if the likes of Zillow are found guilty, they must pay $1,000 per plaintiff or pay out "punitive damages" if they have been found to have wilfully disregarded the privacy requests.

News of the suits came to light the same week as it was revealed that the French FSBO specialist portal PAP.fr is also facing a hefty fine for breaching legislation around personal data privacy.

February 15, 2024
Since March 2020 Edmund's job has been to read about, write about, collect data on, analyse and generally know about real estate marketplaces and the companies that run them. Before that he worked at the aggregator Mitula Group (which became Lifull Connect) for five years.

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