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DMA’s Data Standards 2.0 to Guide Industry through “Inflection Point” in Era of Data Explosion

October 18, 2016 – DMA, the leading U.S. data and marketing association, announced Tuesday the launch of an industry-wide initiative to develop the standards that will govern the marketing industry’s accountability in this new era of data explosion. Called Data Standards 2.0, the new standards will provide guidance for marketers on permitted and prohibited uses of data that is generated through technology innovations. Data Standards 2.0 will tackle new high profile and emergent data issues and update DMA’s self-regulatory standards, focusing them to be even more relevant for today’s data practices.

The DMA Data Standards 2.0 Initiative was announced Tuesday morning by Sheila Colclasure, Global Executive for Privacy and Public Policy for Acxiom, at &THEN, DMA’s global data and marketing event, in Los Angeles. Colclasure laid out the roadmap through 2017 that will lead to the final standards released at &THEN 17, DMA’s centennial event in New Orleans in October 2017. The new data standards are the next generation of DMA’s Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice. For over 60 years, DMA has served as the leader of the industry’s self-regulatory framework, providing enforcement of the Guidelines.

“New technology creates digital clouds of data and that can be used without our awareness or knowledge – to impact our reality, even in fantastic life-changing and live-saving ways,” said Colclasure on the &THEN Inspiration Stage. “It is at this inflection point that we, the collective we here in the room, need to figure out a way to not only be accountable to ensure the good uses of this data but to also get everyone comfortable with the idea and actuality of data use to improve our realities.”

Colclasure added DMA’s motivation in undertaking this initiative. “If the marketing and advertising industry is to continue to be trusted to use that data responsibly, to do so with the consumer’s interests in mind and to operate under a self-regulatory framework, then we need to anticipate and get right how to treat the data that these amazing innovations are producing.”

“Innovations in the market have driven incredible power and insight for marketers, but these innovations warrant updated standards to ensure consumer protection and trust,” said Emmett O’Keefe, DMA’s SVP of Advocacy. “DMA strives to champion deeper consumer engagement and business value through the responsible use of data-driven marketing. With these updated standards, the data and marketing industry will continue to assure consumers that their data is safe – and that data-driven marketing delivers real value in their lives.”

Earlier this year, DMA began with the groundwork on the standards, writing rules around honoring consumer choice, data security and breach notification, and compliance with health and children’s data that take into account the proliferation of data from new technologies. Nearly two dozen DMA member organizations contributed expertise to this initial phase of the DS 2.0 Initiative. In the next phase of the Data Standards 2.0 Initiative, DMA will explore permissible and prohibited data uses stemming from emerging technology, including over-the-top services, smart TVs, augmented reality and the Internet of Things.

In the coming months, DMA will be soliciting input and review with a broader group of DMA members and industry participants for socialization and refinement to cultivate buy-in for true industry adoption and self-regulation. Following the final release of the updated standards in October 2017, DMA will incorporate the rules into its education offerings and certification training models to ensure the data and marketing industry can come into full compliance with the Data Standards 2.0.

To get involved in the Data Standards 2.0 project, contact DMA’s Advocacy team at

About DMA ( Founded in 1917, DMA is the community that champions deeper consumer engagement and business value through the innovative and responsible use of data-driven marketing. DMA’s membership is made up of today’s leading tech and data innovators, brand marketers, agencies, service providers and media companies. By representing the entire marketing ecosystem – from demand side to supply side – DMA is uniquely positioned to bring win/win solutions to the market and ensure that innovative and disruptive marketing technology and techniques can be quickly applied for ROI.

DMA advances the data-driven marketing industry and serves its members through four principal pillars of leadership: advocating for marketers’ ability to responsibly gather and refine detailed data; innovating to bring solutions forward for marketers’ most vexing challenges; educating today’s marketers to grow and lead marketing organizations in the ever-increasing omnichannel world; and connecting industry participants to stay current, learn best practices and gain access to emerging solutions through &THEN – the largest global event for data-driven marketing – and DMA’s portfolio of other live events.