Innovations in Property Technology (PropTech) and their Legal Implications – Part 7 

What is the recurring and essential idea that unifies all of the related proptech tools, programs, platforms, and equipment? Huge amounts of data!! Today we will take a deep dive into the legal implications of the use of big data in the proptech space.

When it comes to taking big data’s legal implications into account, proptech companies should take into consideration the complete data lifecycle. From data gathering to transmitting, from using to converting, saving, keeping, and wiping data. It is also necessary to consider the nature of the data in question so as to know how best to deal with it. Some of the salient legal implications of big data usage for proptech players will be highlighted below.

Ascertaining data ownership – As a result of the volume of big data, it is usually complex and difficult to track and ascertain where particular sets of data flow from, and as a result, organisations are unable to ascertain the nature of the data, the source it was generated from, and what legal considerations to adopt in dealing with such data. When proptech companies are caught in a web such as this, they will need to thoroughly evaluate their risk exposure and keep an eye on legal changes relating to big data.

Securing data – Proptech companies already know that data is not only valuable assets for their businesses but also important information about people’s lives, businesses, etc., which makes it a source of interest for cyber criminals. Therefore, immediately data is collected, it becomes the company’s duty to safeguard such data by putting in place strict security measures and processes before access is granted to anyone. The management of cyber-risk is a component of doing business in the digital age, so businesses must invest in and practice effective data protection.

Protecting consumers’ privacy – “The extent of consumer profiling today means that data brokers often know as much or even more about us than our family and friends, including our online and in-store purchases, our political and religious affiliations, our income and socioeconomic status, and more,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez regarding a May 2014 report on data brokers. 

It is essential that a company knows the rights it has to certain sets of data and its limits. Big data has interesting possibilities, but it’s crucial for businesses to take into account the legal responsibilities that come with such information to prevent unethical acts. For instance, even if a user has already agreed to receive communications, it must be simple to opt out of marketing messages like emails, calls, and push alerts at any time.

When working with big data, the amount of data that is accessible can be daunting at times, but if a corporation has defined goals and objectives, it is much simpler to separate the vital information from the big data chaff and concentrate on it. Best practice mechanisms will ensure that organisations put in place a procedure for keeping track of their data rights, licences, and consents that is connected to the categories of data they are monitoring and also make sure they ensure that before using or granting access to data in new ways, they obtain all necessary rights, licences, and consents.

Monitor and comply with evolving data laws and regulations – Data privacy is a growing range of issues that affect all different kinds of businesses and industries. An organisation cannot merely take “basic” measures to be in full compliance. Numerous rules with detailed requirements govern the usage of big data. As a result, businesses must take care to stay up to date on any legal developments pertaining to the usage of big data and continually work, invest money, people, and resources to stay compliant.

Proptech companies risk fines, regulatory inquiries, and dissatisfied customers if data is not protected or utilised in a way that does not violate the law or the promises they have made to customers.

References; 

Jamie Henriquez, Big data: Six critical areas of legal risk, https://www.techrepublic.com/article/big-data-six-critical-areas-of-legal-risk/ 

Pillsbury-Gravel2Gavel Construction and Real Estate Law, Data Analytics and Proptech, https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/data-analytics-and-proptech-1137659/ 

Brad L. Peterson and Donald J. Moon, 9 Dos and Don’ts For Big Data Analytics In Proptech, https://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/privacy-protection/802366/9-dos-and-don39ts-for-big-data-analytics-in-proptech 

Thomson Reuters, 5 questions companies should ask about big data to avoid legal issues, https://legal.thomsonreuters.com/en/insights/articles/ask-about-big-data-to-avoid-legal-issues 

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