DMA: Data and Marketing Association
Consumer Help

Privacy Shield Program Guide Checklist

The DMA Privacy Shield Program
Guide for Businesses

Business Checklist for Privacy Shield Implementation

Review the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Privacy Shield framework requirements to determine if this is the best solution for your organization’s needs. Department of Commerce’s website is: https://www.privacyshield.gov/welcome.

Review the DMA’s Privacy Shield Program: https://thedma.org/resources/compliance-resources/privacy-shield-guide/.

Designate an executive to be responsible for your organization’s compliance with the Privacy Shield framework.

Develop a publicly available company privacy policy that meets the requirements of the Privacy Shield framework by assessing your company’s business practices in the following areas:

Data Analysis:
Analyze data intake flows, data uses, and transfers to third parties.

Notice to Customers:

  1. Determine to whom, and when, notices must be given;
  2. Assure notices are drafted accurately, include the information required by the Shield, and are given at all appropriate times and places; and
  3. Determine manner in which notice is made publicly available.

Provide consumers with the opportunity to opt-out or opt-in depending on the nature of the data. Set-up appropriate procedures to respect consumers’ opt-out/opt-in requests particularly with respect to consumers’ requests to not be approached for direct marketing (i.e., in-house suppression system.)

Onward Transfer:
Determine the need for contracts with respect to the transfer of information to third parties. The onward transfer of personal information must be documented by contracts containing appropriate safeguards.

Set-up procedures to allow customers the ability to access their personal information and the ability to correct, amend or delete it where it is inaccurate or is being processed in a manner that does not comply with the privacy principles in the Privacy Shield.

Set-up appropriate procedures to ensure that the customer’s personal information is protected and secure.

Data Integrity and Purpose Limitation:
Set-up procedures to ensure that the customer’s personal information is reliable, accurate, complete, current and processed in accordance with stated purposes.


  1. Refer consumers to your customer service department or other in-house dispute handling program to address their data privacy complaints; and
  2. Utilize the DMA Privacy Shield Program as the required independent third-party dispute resolution mechanism to address any unresolved in-house consumer data privacy complaints.
  3. Disclose to consumers their ability to seek binding arbitration if steps– 1 and 2 listed above do not resolve complaint to the consumer’s satisfaction.
  4. If consumer has a national security concern – s/he can be referred to the new Ombudsperson at the Department of State.

Establish an annual compliance review process by adhering to either:

  1. An internal self-assessment compliance review – you need to develop procedures for periodic objective reviews of compliance with your privacy policy and complaint handling; or
  2. An outside third-party assessment review/audit.

[Note: The DMA Privacy Shield Program does not provide this auditing function as a part of its service.]


  1. Assure all personnel receive general training in your Shield privacy policy. More extensive training should be provided to personnel who have access to or deal with the data; and
  2. Modify employee/personnel policies to provide for training and discipline for failure to follow your policy.

Self-Certify to the US Department of Commerce (DOC):

File a self-certification letter with the DOC. This may be done electronically at https://www.privacyshield.gov/welcome, or by letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce

Re-certify to the DOC on an annual basis through the website or by letter..

Provide DMA Privacy Shield Program with the following documents:

A copy of your Shield privacy policy;
Company contact information cover sheet;
DMA Privacy Shield Contract; and
Annual Safe Harbor Contract fee.

[Note: Also, please make sure that your company is a DMA member. DMA membership is a pre-requisite to participate in the DMA Privacy Shield. ]

Please send application and fee to:

Data & Marketing Association
Attn: Lisa Brown Shosteck
225 Reinekers Lane, Suite 325
Alexandria, VA 22314