How to protect client data: privacy, PIPEDA and PropTech

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Property managers handle a lot of personal identifiable information about tenants, property owners, and staff. From names and addresses to income history and credit scores, this valuable but sensitive data is a prime target for cybercriminals who grow more sophisticated every year.

Cyberattacks against Canadian businesses surged 20% from 2021 to 2022, costing them $5.64 million on average. Unfortunately, many don’t know how to protect client data. According to Mastercard, just 39% of North American businesses have ongoing vulnerability assessment in place.

Against this background, knowing how to protect client data effectively is critical to preventing sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands.

Know your regulatory requirements

The first step to protect client data is to ensure compliance with the relevant data protection laws.

In Ontario, property managers are subject to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which is the primary federal law governing consumer privacy in private sector businesses.

PIPEDA requires property managers to:

  • Obtain consent for collecting, using, or disclosing personal information
  • Clearly state the purpose of collecting personal information and use it appropriately
  • Give landlords, tenants and others access to their personal information and allow them to challenge its accuracy
  • Use the information only for its intended purpose
  • Safeguard the collected personal information appropriately

Hands-on property owners are also liable under PIPEDA if they collect personal information. Owners and tenants expect their property manager to handle their personal information responsibly and securely. Demonstrating a commitment to data privacy not only establishes credibility, but also builds trust and positive relationships with clients.

Know what clients want

Canadians have clear preferences about how their personal information should be protected.

According to a survey by Mastercard, 55% of consumers believe businesses should encrypt all consumer data and 92% feel businesses should invest more in data security in general. Additionally, 64% of consumers like using authentication codes.

Businesses can either cater to them or risk losing their patronage. Even if they like a product or service, 82% of consumers won't work with a company if they don't trust them with their personal information.

PropTech to the rescue

The best property management software products guarantee the safety of their users’ and their clients’ personal data.

PayProp's bank-grade encryption, two-factor browser authentication and dual payment approval, and customizable user access rights prevent even your service provider from accessing your data without permission.

At the same time, owners and renters can rest easy knowing they have constant, unfiltered visibility into their account balances, statements and alerts for all platform activity via the Owner app and Tenant portal. And should a transaction ever be called into question, PayProp’s uneditable audit log will set the record straight.

PayProp-powered peace of mind

In this digital age, protecting client data has become a top priority.

By complying with PIPEDA and fortifying their cybersecurity, property managers can assure owners and tenants that their personal information is well-protected and as a result, build trust and confidence in their services.

Additionally, if they use property management software Ontario property managers already love – such as PayProp – they’ll never need to wonder how to protect client data again.

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