Four of the five “priority areas” for the FTC this year will focus on data-driven marketers. According to an Advertising Age article, the FTC priorities include the transparency of marketing information service providers (the FTC calls them “data brokers”), data security, mobile app tracking by retailers and data sharing across country borders.
DMA is working intently to educate the FTC commissioners and staff about the value of data-driven marketing to our economy, the need to protect innovation and our $156 billion industry and the success of nearly five decades of self-regulation based on marketer commitment to the DMA Ethical Business Guidelines which set the standard for our industry and form the public trust with consumers. We are also working with policy makers in Washington D.C. and Brussels on maintaining the effective Safe Harbor program for sharing consumer data between America and Europe.
What those priority areas don’t include are things that consumers are actually concerned about. Identity theft is the number one consumer complaint according to the FTC— and there is nothing on the FTC list demonstrating consumer concern about interest-based advertising or the consumer choices provided by marketers and DMA. Real consumer concerns track with the complaints that DMA handles as part of our Ethical Guidelines enforcement (our annual report is located here.)
Here’s what you can do to help DMA protect our society’s beloved data-driven lifestyle and make our industry stronger: