Yesterday, during “Hill Day from Your Desk,” DMA members participated in an online update on DMA’s actions on government affairs and policy issues.  Led by DMA Vice President of Government Affairs Jerry Cerasale, the webinar brought members up to speed on six key policy issues affecting data-driven marketers that DMA has on its radar. 

One of these issues was how to address the negative rhetoric surrounding so-called “data brokers,” which as many as three different organizations in DC—the FTC, Senate Commerce Committee, and GAO—are now investigating.  The GAO’s report is expected in mid- to late September, and the FTC’s in late 2013.

Since no formal definition of “data brokers” has ever been agreed upon by these organizations, “It could be anybody, broadly defined, who shares information — even nonprofits,” Jerry said.  “They are using inflammatory language to push legislation and/or regulation, in order to eliminate not just the use, but the collection of data.”  In other words, as Jerry explained, what began as concern about how data collection agencies were attaining and using consumer information has now morphed into a tarring of any organization that uses consumer information to do business.

Jerry went on to emphasize that, rather than pushing to severely restrict the collection of data, attention should be focused on bad actors and unscrupulous organizations that refuse to comply with business standards and best practices. “We’re ready to respond on what data-driven marketing really is,” Jerry said.  “We have the Data Driven Marketing Institute (DDMI), which works to set the record straight about the benefits of data-driven marketing. We have people ready to show us how vital data is to the American economy at large, and also to me, Jerry Cerasale, as a consumer.”

Other issues discussed included a ballot initiative on privacy in California, mobile app guidelines, opt-out legislation on retail tracking, postal reform, and legislation to fight patent trolls. 

With data collection under close scrutiny these days, a great deal of misleading language and fear-mongering is circulating in Washington, on top of year-to-year issues which affect businesses and marketers.  Through advocacy and education, DMA is proud to continue to promote greater understanding of data driven marketing, not just for our members, but for the industry at large.

“These Hill Day from Your Desk updates are invitation only for top DMA members. If you are interested in attending future events, please contact us.” 

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