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DMA: Data and Marketing Association
Consumer Help

Limitations on the Use of Data for Consumer Data-Driven Marketing

Limitations on Marketing Data Use
*Effective July 18, 2018. To download the current version, click here.

Data used for Marketing should not be used for the following purposes:

  • Employment Eligibility. Determining adverse terms and conditions of or ineligibility for employment, promotion, reassignment, sanction, or retention as an employee.
  • Credit Eligibility. Determining adverse terms and conditions of or ineligibility of an individual for credit.
  • Health Care Treatment Eligibility. Determining adverse terms and conditions for or ineligibility of an individual to receive health care treatment.
  • Insurance Eligibility and Underwriting and Pricing. Determining adverse terms and conditions of or ineligibility of an individual for insurance, including, but not limited to, health insurance.

Data collected exclusively for Marketing should be used only for Marketing purposes. Entities should not use data for Marketing where such use has been prohibited.

Notwithstanding any other provision, credit card numbers, checking account numbers, and debit account numbers are considered to be sensitive personal data and therefore should not be exchanged, rented, sold, allowed access to, or transferred for Marketing when there is a reasonable expectation by the Consumer that the data will be kept confidential.

Such financial account numbers should not be publicly displayed on Marketing promotions or otherwise made public.

Social Security numbers are also considered to be sensitive personal data and therefore should not be transferred, rented, sold, or exchanged for use by a third party for the third party’s own Marketing. Social Security numbers should not be publicly displayed on Marketing promotions or otherwise made public. Use of Social Security numbers for Marketing is prohibited, unless used for:

  • Fraud detection;
  • Identity verification;
  • Data matching;
  • Data accuracy; or
  • Data integrity.

Use of Social Security numbers in connection with an extension of credit is subject to the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and corresponding state laws.

Use of data for Marketing is subject to limitations set forth in agreements between the owner, broker, or manager of the data and the recipient or user of the data. Data should not be used for purposes beyond those for which it was authorized. Agreements regarding the use of data for Marketing should include reasonable assurances that the data was collected in a responsible manner and in accordance with applicable laws.


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