Direct Media Issues Subscriber List Security, Fraud Policy

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Citing subscription fraud as a challenge to the list and publishing industries, Direct Media Inc., Greenwich, CT, issued a policy yesterday regarding subscriber list security and fraud prevention.

The announcement comes a month after the Magazine Publishers of America released a white paper, "Considerations and Suggestions for the Magazine Industry on List Security." The MPA assembled an industry task force on list security in July after an unauthorized 1.6 million-name magazine subscriber file was put on the market by Magazine Subscribers Network of America, a subscription sub-agent.

Among the MPA's recommendations: the necessity for written contractual agreements with those accessing subscriber files; physical security for data; monitoring of usage requests and orders; and active decoying or seeding of lists.

Direct Media said it supports the MPA recommendations. It also mandated that its employees sign confidentiality, privacy and security agreements. Under the policy, Direct Media will maintain a database of individuals and companies suspected or involved in list abuse.

All subscription list orders are subject to the regular approval process, as well as some new measures. They include checking orders against the database of possible violators, checking the Web site of prospective renters and checking new mailers out with others in the industry.

Direct Media list manger and MPA member Georganne Rossi will act as the company's point person on subscription fraud issues.


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