Peter Johnson

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

The Direct Marketing Association today responded to the findings of a new report released by the Federal Trade Commission entitled: "Data Brokers: A Call for Transparency and Accountability." "We appreciate the Commission's ongoing interest on these issues. The calls for notice, choice and transparency are consistent with existing hallmarks of the ethical standards for our industry, which DMA has produced and enforced for more than 40 years

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) expressed disappointment following the introduction of the "The Data Broker Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014" (DATA Act), a bill that would stymie the responsible use of data across the entire data-driven marketing economy, stifle innovation and ultimately hurt consumers.

The Direct Marketing Association today sent a letter to Congress restating its long-standing commitment to ensuring the security of consumer data across the entire data-driven marketing economy. The letter states, in part

President Obama delivered an address at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., regarding changes to National Security Agency (NSA) programs. While his remarks focused on government surveillance, the President also commented on the use of consumer data by the business community, as well as related privacy issues. ... “There was a recognition by all who participated in these reviews that the challenges to our privacy do not come from government alone. Corporations of all shapes and sizes track what you buy, store and analyze our data, and use it for commercial purposes

Jerry Cerasale, senior vice president of government affairs for the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), will testify this afternoon at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation entitled, “What Information Do Data Brokers Have On Consumers, and How Do They Use It?” In his testimony, Cerasale will discuss the important role that responsible collection and use of marketing data plays in aiding consumers and fueling the United States economy. The hearing follows a year-long investigation by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Chairman of the Commerce Committee, into the practices of “ ‘data brokers’ that compile and sell information about consumers.”

Modern technology is on the rise, and marketing executives are keenly aware that they can bolster their initiatives using high-tech strategies. For example, if they're looking to collect data on the demands of their consumers, they can simply poll them using online resources including emails, social media sites and chats via mobile devices. At the same time, companies run the risk of getting too caught up in all of this tech buzz. Older, more traditional methods of gathering marketing data might not be the most popular today, but they do still have value in today's economy

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