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DMA: Data and Marketing Association
Why DMA?

EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Programs for Consumers

How Can The DMA Privacy Shield Program Help You?

The DMA Privacy Shield Programs will:

  • Allow European & Swiss consumers, companies and governments to feel more comfortable in engaging in business with companies located in the United States;
  • Offer a means for resolving data privacy complaints; and
  • Help businesses to meet certain Privacy Shield requirements.

You can have confidence that companies displaying the DMA Privacy Shield mark have fulfilled their requirements under these frameworks to subscribe to an independent third-party complaint resolution provider. Under these DMA Dispute Resolution Programs, European and Swiss data privacy complaints will be resolved in a timely and straightforward manner. The privacy principles of the Privacy Shield frameworks require that privacy complaints be initially addressed by the company’s customer service department or other in-house complaint program. If the individual’s complaint is not addressed to his/her satisfaction then the individual can turn to the appropriate independent dispute resolution service for additional assistance and resolution.

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EU & Swiss Individuals – Be Sure to Look for the DMA Privacy Shield Program Mark

All organizations that comply with the DMA Privacy Shield Program will display our mark in their mail offers, in their print advertisements, and on their websites.

If a company displaying the DMA Privacy Shield mark does not satisfactorily address your data privacy complaint, you may file a complaint by submitting the appropriate complaint form (instructions provided on this page) or in writing to let us know the details of your complaint. Our address is:

Data & Marketing Association
Attn: Privacy Shield Program
225 Reinekers Lane, Suite 325
Alexandria, VA 22314

DMA will contact the company promptly to take appropriate action to address your data privacy complaint. DMA is ready to provide appropriate sanctions against a company that fails to comply with the privacy principles. (For a complete description regarding the DMA’s process for handling complaints, please refer to the DMA Privacy Shield Program Complaint Process on our website.

How Does DMA Assist Consumers under Privacy Shield

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Even with the best of companies – complaints -can occur. The DMA Privacy Shield Program acts as an intermediary between European/Swiss consumers and companies located in the United States to resolve data privacy complaints in a timely manner.

The DMA Privacy Shield Program is a free consumer service sponsored by the Data & Marketing Association (DMA). Established in 1917, the DMA has a history of providing assistance to its members in adhering to the best marketing practices. For more information you can also contact the DMA at privacyshield@the-dma.org.

Most Frequently Asked Questions by Consumers:

  1. Will the DMA Privacy Shield Program Refer Complaints to Companies that are not Members of the DMA EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Program?
    No. Please refer to the company’s privacy policy to see who is serving as the company’s independent third-party dispute resolution mechanism. You should contact them to have your data privacy complaint addressed if you are not able to seek resolution by the company directly.
  2. Should I contact DMA or the company first to resolve my complaint?
    The first and best course of action is to attempt resolution through the company’s customer service department or other in-house dispute resolution program directly. If the company has neither responded to you within 45 days nor addressed your complaint to your satisfaction then you may file a complaint with the DMA Privacy Shield Program.
  3. How Do EU Residents Register Complaints under the DMA Privacy Shield Program?
    European consumers may register complaints under the DMA Privacy Shield Program by submitting an online form or by mail:
    Data & Marketing Association
    Attn: Privacy Shield Program
    225 Reinekers Lane, Suite 325; Alexandria, VA 22314
    fax: 202.955.0085
  4. How Do Swiss Residents Register Complaints under the DMA Privacy Shield Program?
    Swiss consumers may register complaints under the DMA Privacy Shield Program by submitting an online form or by mail:
    Data & Marketing Association
    Attn: Privacy Shield/Safe Harbor Line
    225 Reinekers Lane, Suite 325; Alexandria, VA 22314
    fax: 202.955.0085
  5. How Will My Complaint be Processed?
    The DMA Privacy Shield Program staff makes every effort possible to reach a satisfactory resolution for the consumer.

    In those cases where there is no resolution by the company, consumer complaints will be referred to the DMA’s Privacy Shield Program Committee for appropriate review and action.

Sanctions can include:

  • Correction of actions found not to be in compliance with the privacy principles;
  • Correction or deletion of inaccurate personal information;
  • Reimbursement of actual, direct monetary damages incurred by the consumer;
  • Suspension or expulsion from the DMA Shield or Safe Harbor Program;
  • Publicity for non-compliance;
  • Notification to the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the Committee’s decision and a request to remove company from the Shield or Safe Harbor Certification List; and/or
  • Referral to the Federal Trade Commission or Department of Transportation for consideration of governmental enforcement action.

For a complete description regarding the DMA’s process for handling complaints, please refer to the DMA Privacy Shield Programs’ Complaint Procedures.

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