Today, in a keynote speech at the Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference in Washington, DC, FTC Commissioner Julie Brill once again expressed concern about a lot of data practices that are not marketing practices.

For example:

  1. Brill opened her talk by conflating this week’s buzz story, the NSA’s data-collection efforts,  with responsible data-driven marketing.  “Personal data is free-flowing in cyberspace, ripe for any data miner – government or otherwise – to collect, use package and sell,” she said.  As I pointed out in a previous blog post, confusing issues of national security and marketing only serves to muddy the waters about how responsible data-driven marketing really works – and to paint a murky and alarmist picture of the supposed threat that the collection of marketing data poses to consumer.
  2. Brill went on to suggest the need for a comprehensive initiative that she called “Reclaim Your Name.”   Brill warned that eligibility decisions based on big data could “do real harm to consumers” if founded on inaccurate information.  This initiative, she said, would give consumers the power to “reassert some control over their personal data.”  Yet, using marketing data for eligibility determinations is already illegal under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  If this is her worry, perhaps Brill’s initiative would be more aptly named, “Comply with the Law.”

It’s time for us to reclaim some clarity and perspective.  This is primary focus of DMA’s work, and we are as visible as possible in setting the record straight – often in ways that would be uncomfortable for a single business.

Through its Data Driven Marketing Institute (DDMI), DMA is constantly fighting on the front lines to set the record straight and increase understanding and clarity about data-driven marketing— as well as to prevent needless regulation or enforcement that could severely hamper data-driven marketing and stifle innovation, reducing benefits to individual consumers and the economy as a whole.

What can you do?

You can help by taking the pledge to set the record straight – and help advance and protect responsible data-driven marketing.





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