DMA Asks Lawmakers to Protect Data-Driven Economy

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Woolley: Calls for data security law.
Woolley: Calls for data security law.

In a meeting at the National Press Club in Washington today, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) detailed its new report on the $156 billion data-driven marketing economy (DDME) to policy makers and urged them to consider passing a national data security law.

DMA President and CEO Linda Woolley told the group that it was crucial to put forth a policy to preserve and protect the value of data. “New regulations stopping the exchange of data across the DDME would impact $110 billion in revenue to the U.S. economy and 478,000 American jobs,” Woolley said. “The biggest winners in the DDME—innovation and small businesses—would also be the biggest losers if startups could no longer use data to overcome barriers to entry, raise ad-supported revenue, and identify new and niche markets to serve.”

She called on Congress to:

  • Pass a national data security and breach notification law
  • Preempt state laws that endanger the value of data
  • Prohibit privacy class action suits and fund Federal Trade Commission enforcement
  • Reform the Electronic Communications Privacy Act
  • Preserve robust self-regulation for the DDME

Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing & Trade delivered a keynote address at the event, which also included remarks by Jessica Rich, director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission.

Professors John Deighton of Harvard Business School and Peter Johnson of Columbia University summarized findings of the study they recently completed on behalf of DMA. “The Value of Data, Consequences for Insight, Innovation, and Efficiency in the U.S. Economy” is the first study to place a value on the data-driven economy.

Woolley also announced the formation of the Data Protection Alliance, a new legislative coalition that will focus specifically on ensuring that effective regulation and legislation protects the value of the DDME.

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