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DMA: Data and Marketing Association
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Policy and Issue Library

As with everything that we do, DMA’s advocacy efforts are aimed at advancing
and protecting responsible data-driven marketing.

DMA advocates for keeping all marketing channels open and viable, while also focusing on a number of specific issues at the federal and state levels important to members. As the issues of the data-driven marketing community change, so does the focus of DMA Advocacy. Please see below for a list of the current issues we’re tracking:

Kids and Student Privacy

DMA has been actively engaged in child and student privacy legislation since the passage of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) in 1998. Today, DMA engages with Congressional staff and wider industry regarding student and child privacy bills in both the House and Senate, offering feedback on legislation and education regarding the self-regulatory protections already in place to ensure responsible use of data in the marketing context as applicable to students and children.

EU - U.S. Privacy Shield

The “EU-U.S. Privacy Shield” for cross-border data transfers was agreed upon in February 2016 to replace the EU-U.S. Safe Harbor Framework that was struck down by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in October 2015 amid privacy concerns by the European Union (EU). As of April 2016, the draft text of the Privacy Shield is still awaiting final approval by the European Commission (EC).

The initial Safe Harbor Framework for transatlantic data transfers was created following the European Union’s passage of the 1995 Directive, which prohibits the transfer of personal data to non-European Union countries that do not meet the EU “adequacy” standard for privacy protection. Set up by the U.S. Department of Commerce in consultation with the EC, the Framework provided a streamlined means for US organizations to comply with the Directive. DMA’s Safe Harbor Program was one of several third party dispute resolution programs that assisted companies in complying with the Enforcement Principle of the Safe Harbor Framework, which requires participants to subscribe to an independent third party dispute resolution provider. DMA plans to continue to serve as a third party dispute resolution provider under the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield.

EU Data Protection and Policy

DMA is engaged in a number of data policy issues throughout the EU including General Data Protection Regulation, and the European Commission’s (EC) 2015 plan to create a Digital Single Market (DSM) across the EU. The free flow of data for responsible marketing use is a driving force behind the global economy. Clear, interoperable data protection regimes remain essential to the industry, while still enabling innovation through the transatlantic flow of data for responsible marketing use.

Data Security and Privacy

The recent string of data breaches across the United States, both within the government and private sectors has allowed DMA to take a particular focus on this issue, routinely reviewing data breach and privacy legislation at the federal and state levels. DMA is particularly engaged in the development of mobile and geolocation technology as it relates to consumer data and privacy. A clear and uniform national data breach notification standard would eliminate the patchwork of disparate state laws that currently exist. Additionally, DMA included a ‘data breach preparedness plan’ in its revised Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice released in February 2014.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

Coined in 1999, the term “Internet of Things” (IoT) refers to the ability of everyday devices to interact with each other within the “cloud” and be accessed remotely. While the term and the marketplace have been around for some time, IoT has only begun to gain federal attention in the past decade. As this issue continues to evolve, DMA is closely monitoring its effects on the data driven marketing community. DMA continues to educate federal and state policymakers about the economic value of the Data-Driven Marketing Economy (DDME) and the potential benefits it could provide to consumers through IoT.

Industry Self-Regulation

Self-regulation is the most efficient and effective means of addressing both online and offline marketing and advertising information practices. Self-regulation takes into account consumer privacy considerations, while ensuring flexibility for the development of new services and products that deliver benefits to consumers, foster growth in the U.S. economy, and create new jobs. Successful self-regulatory models, like DMA’s Guidelines for Ethical Business Practices, have set a high bar for responsible marketing for decades.

Postal Reform

Comprehensive postal reform remains a fundamental issue in Congress, and one that DMA continues to be actively engaged on. Since the 2008 “Great Recession,” the United States Postal Service (USPS) has been struggling to reach solvency, and was granted a request for an exigent postal increase through 2016 by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). Comprehensive postal reforms remains a necessary legislative change, as rate increases only drive mail volumes away from the system, having the opposite effect the USPS desires.

Reform of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA)

Passed in 1986, The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) was intended to stop federal agents from obtaining electronic information— such as emails in transit or stored on a server for less than 180 days— without a warrant. However, the law and its subsequent amendments does not reflect recent technological advancements, and gives law enforcement and government agencies a loophole to circumvent ECPA’s warrant requirement for electronic communications, regardless of how long they have been stored on third party servers. ECPA reform continues to gain momentum in both the House and Senate as legislation in both chambers is repeatedly introduced. DMA remains at the forefront of this industry issue, constantly monitoring and weighing in on legislation that would reform ECPA and allow for the safe and responsible use of data.

For more information, contact government@the-dma.org.

Data Breach Notification

In the wake of data breaches over the past several years, members of Congress and state legislators have indicated that updating data security and breach notification laws is a top priority.

Our policy coalitions are vital in shaping the discussion on data-driven marketing legislation and regulations.
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