*DM Industry Braces for Sunday’s ’60 Minutes’ Episode

CBS’ investigative news program “60 Minutes” plans to air correspondent Leslie Stahl’s special report this Sunday detailing emerging consumer privacy issues on the Internet. The broadcast comes as no surprise to direct marketers who noted the presence of CBS camera crews at the DMA’s Annual Conference and Exhibition in Toronto last month.

Though interviews will include opinions and insights from various direct marketing industry authorities, the story is expected to take a less-than-flattering view of the industry’s activities in the online world. In a show preview on its Web site, CBS highlights comments from outspoken industry critic Jason Catlett of Junkbusters Corp., Green Brook, NJ:

“Suppose that every time you walked around the mall, somebody put a bar code on your shoulder and as you walked into the shops in the mall, someone came up and scanned your shoulder and got the number … went to a database, saying, 'Ah, yes, that's Lesley who visited the shop next door 15 minutes ago.' That's the level of surveillance that's going on on the Internet.”

The CBS promotional copy reads: “That's Jason Catlett, an Internet entrepreneur, talking to correspondent Lesley Stahl about the level of scrutiny most Internet users unknowingly open themselves to when going online.”

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