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Marketers Remain a Focus for Policymakers

Congress has a lot on its plate right now. We don’t have a federal budget. Sequestration is threatening to take a huge bite out of federal spending, and possibly our economy as a whole. The gun control debate is raging. So is the war in Afghanistan.

You might think that all this would leave responsible marketing far down the list of things that Washington is worried about. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong.

Here are just a few highlights from our DMA government affairs team in Washington that could have serious consequences for the way every marketer does business:

  • Representative Hank Johnson is saying that app stores “threaten the physical and financial safety of consumers”—and introduced the APPS Act to limit the collection and use of data through apps.
  • The FTC is taking action against a mobile device maker for failing to follow data governance best practices and putting “sensitive information about millions of consumers at risk.” It will be looking over the company’s shoulder for the next twenty years.
  • A movement to strengthen existing European data protection laws is gaining steam, with a key European Parliament Committee joining the growing list of groups to endorse a plan that would give consumers the “right to be forgotten,” allow access and deletion of all consumer information, and require breach notification in 24 hours.
  • The States are getting in on the action too by pursuing bills that would set up conflicting standards in Maryland and California for marketing to children, and new regulations limiting online behavioral advertising.

It’s a lot for any marketer to keep up with, I know.  Programs like DMAAction, the Data Driven Marketing Insitute, and Privacy.org are ways for marketers to keep informed—and get involved where appropriate.  Part of the role of data stewardship for marketers is to act responsibly in all matters concerning consumer data. That includes helping to educate Congress and regulators on the benefits of what we do to both consumers and the economy.

  Stephanie Miller is VP of member relations and chief listening officer at the Direct Marketing Association. She is a relentless customer advocate and a champion for marketers creating memorable online experiences.  A digital marketing expert, she helps responsible data-driven marketers connect with the people, resources, and ideas they need to optimize response and revenue.
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