Homeowners need better data protection
Full disclosure of homeowner data is outdated, according to Anna Berlee, a researcher at Maastricht University. Important personal data contained in the notary deed of sale, such as ID number and maximum mortgage amount, can now be requested from the Land Registry (Kadaster). This compromises the privacy of homeowners. A better solution would be to determine in advance whether the applicant has a legitimate interest in such information. Berlee will obtain her PhD on Friday 2 March.
Privacy versus transparency
Berlee examined the relationship between homeowner privacy and full transparency of data in the notarial act of delivery, which can be retrieved from public records kept by the Land Registry. This disclosure may be of interest to potential buyers, for instance to determine whether the seller is legally entitled to sell the house. But according to Berlee, full disclosure of information is disproportionate. Not everyone benefits from the full disclosure of personal information such as date of birth, address and marital status.
In the past, information was only available in analogue. But with today's digital techniques, it's much easier to manage the availability of data. In her study, Berlee refers to Germany, which uses an interest test to determine in advance whether the applicant has a legitimate interest in requesting certain information. A test like this would better align with current privacy regulations without compromising the underlying motivations for a public register, according to Berlee.
Anna Berlee will obtain her PhD on Friday 2 March at 16.00 at Maastricht University for her dissertation entitled, 'Access to personal data in public land registers: balancing publicity of property rights with the rights to privacy and data protection.'