Consumer Privacy Practices and Tech in the Title Insurance Industry

A Case Study of First American Title Company


  • Natasha M Wojcicki Dominican University


Title companies issue title insurance policies to protect owners and lenders from unknown defects to real property.  The title and closing process involves the collection, use, and disclosure of consumer personal information that is managed by technology systems and web applications.  While this helps title companies collaborate with customers, it also makes them targets to cybercriminals.  Title companies follow industry best practices to safeguard consumer data.  First American Title Company, one of the nation's leading title insurance companies and a leader in e-commerce application systems, was evaluated to better understand the privacy practices of title companies.  Unfortunately, First American suffered a data leak that exposed the personal information of millions of consumers.  Since there are no federal data privacy laws, First American has relatively gone unscathed by the incident even though it was a known system vulnerability.  Therefore, it is recommended that federal privacy laws be implemented, an oversight agency be established for enforcement, and a privacy by design approach should be used by tech companies when developing their systems.

Keywords: Title insurance; Title company; First American; data leak; data privacy; consumer data privacy practices; personal information; non-public personal information; NPI