While many companies are focused on coming into compliance with GDPR, a number of state and federal policy proposals are set to impact how marketers meet the demands of consumers who seek seeking and demanding greater personalization and relevance. Ultimately, marketers who use data responsibly will be impacted by legislation attempting to reel in bad actors.

Here is a brief roundup of some key issues on which DMA’s Advocacy team is engaged:

WEBINAR: California’s Consumer Privacy Ballot Initiative

California voters will cast their ballot this fall on a proposed initiative that threatens the ethical practice of data-driven marketing.

On June 7th at 3pm EASTERN / Noon PACIFIC, DMA will be joining the four other major advertising trade associations in a webinar briefing members on this initiative and how marketers can impact the issue. We encourage you to register now.

DMA’s CEO Tom Benton detailed the negative impact this proposal would have on common marketing practices, including heavy fines and a greatly-expanded definition of “personal information.” DMA is engaged on this matter and is encouraging its members to get engaged as well.

California Legislature Targeting Emailers

Also in California, proposed legislation is moving through the California Assembly which will impact legitimate email marketing practices. DMA’s Email Experience Council put together a helpful explainer, and their blog also provides ways you can get involved on this issue.

Do Not Track Kids Act of 2018

Last week, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) introduced a new proposal entitled, “Do Not Track Kids Act of 2018.” This new proposal, introduced in both the House and the Senate, would establish new rules that apply to the collection, use, and disclosure of data pertaining to children age 15 and younger. A press release from Sen. Markey’s office details a number of impacts from the bill, including the establishment of a “Digital Marketing Bill of Rights for Minors.”

Text of the Senate bill has been released by the office of Sen. Markey. Official texts of the House and Senate bills have not yet been published by Congress. A version of the bill was first introduced in 2011. This proposal is currently not scheduled for a committee hearing or vote, and DMA’s Advocacy team will update members with any news or changes.

Vermont Passes “Data Broker” Bill

This month, the Vermont legislature passed a bill that requires “data brokers” to register with the Vermont Secretary of State, and defines a “data broker” as a “business that provides people search services or a business which collects and sells the brokered personal information of a consumer to third parties with whom the business does not have a direct relationship.” The governor’s message regarding the legislation can be found here.

In their annual registration, data brokers will be required to disclose whether they allow consumers to “opt-out” of the collection and sale of data, whether they have a customer verification program, the nature and types of sources used to compile the data, and the number of data broker security breaches that the broker has experienced in the past year. The law will define brokered personal information to include one or more of the following computerized data elements that are categorized for dissemination to third parties or combined with nonpublic information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • A personal identifier, including a Social Security Number, other government issued identification number or biometric record
  • An indirect identifier including date of birth, place of birth or mother’s maiden name
  • Other information that, alone or in combination, is linked or linkable to the consumer that would allow a reasonable person to identify the consumer with reasonable certainty

DMA’s VP of Advocacy, Chris Oswald built and led a broad coalition of marketers, technology companies, trade associations and other affected industries advocating on the bill in Montpelier. Through its lobbying efforts that included actively engaging in a legislative study committee throughout the summer of 2017, DMA and the coalition secured many positive changes since the proposal was introduced in early January 2017. DMA will continue to monitor other states for similar legislation in the future.

Ethical Data and Marketing Practices

As always, DMA continues its work on advancing responsible data and marketing practices across the industry. This month, DMA released a new certificate program in ‘Ethical Data & Marketing Practices’, which helps companies come into compliance with the latest revisions to DMA’s Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice. Additionally, DMA continues to review these guidelines in partnership with our members, and we invite any individuals interested in participating in development and implementation of these standards to connect with DMA’s Ethics and Compliance Department at ethics@thedma.org.

If you have any concerns or questions regarding data practices, please contact DMA’s General Counsel Senny Boone, who leads our ethics and compliance work. With the partnership of more than two dozen member companies, DMA’s Ethical Policy Committee and Committee on Ethical Business Practice examine the industry’s ethical guidelines and work with companies to come into compliance with self-regulatory rules.