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Privacy protection is a critical aspect of real estate investing. If you want to know why, look no further than today’s headlines.

Dr. Mehmet Oz recently faced some major hurdles in his bid for the US Senate, partly due to the fact that the media learned he owns ten valuable residential properties—after he publicly stated he owns only two.

Last year, a similar story broke, involving Patrisse Khan-Cullors, cofounder of the Black Lives Matter organization. Cullors had allegedly purchased four residential properties of substantial worth. Social media got hold of the story, and Cullors was accused of misappropriating funds raised by the BLM foundation to buy real estate for herself.

No evidence was produced to link Cullors’ home purchases to ill-gotten BLM funds, but the damage to her reputation was already done.

I’m not making a political statement here, nor am I saying whether I think either of the above parties was “right” or “wrong.” The point I’m making is that both of these individuals—and thousands of others every year—could have saved themselves a world of trouble if they’d done a better job protecting the privacy of their real estate holdings, as is their legal right.