DMers: Legislation, Self-Regulation Top Privacy Issues

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Legislation and self-regulation were the top issues identified by direct marketers in charge of monitoring privacy at their firms, according to a study released yesterday by the Direct Marketing Association.


Legislation edged self-regulation 81 percent to 80 percent as the No. 1 privacy concern watched closest by respondents. Technological innovation was next with 69 percent, followed by employee privacy at 46 percent and international privacy at 37 percent.


Data were gathered from people responsible for privacy at 282 DMA member firms by marketing consultants Irwin P. Sharpe & Associates, West Orange, NJ. One-third of the respondents were selected from larger firms, and the rest were chosen at random from the DMA database.


Of the firms surveyed, 47 percent said that outside consultants, including the DMA, had been used to develop their privacy policies.


While 95 percent of participants said they are responsible for ensuring that their firms comply with their privacy policies, 60 percent also monitor firms they do business with.


Though only 11 percent identified privacy as their sole or primary responsibility at their firm, 68 percent either were president/CEO of the firm or reported directly to that person. Only 3 percent identified themselves as chief privacy officer.


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