It has been estimated that identity theft currently costs consumers and businesses $5 billion yearly. Buoyed by consumer demand and the ever-mounting number of identity-theft cases (exceeding 9 million in 2004 alone), security and privacy practices have become of paramount concern to the federal government, privacy activists and American businesses.
In a recent poll conducted by the Society for Information Management, IT executives and CIOs ranked security technologies highest in importance to their businesses and, according to the Computer Security Institute, nearly 50 percent of businesses report that they spend up to 5 percent of their total IT budget on security.
Certainly, the issue of privacy and security holds tremendous significance for the direct marketing industry, and those in the financial services, mortgage and insurance industries have seen sweeping security and privacy reforms since the enactment of the Financial Modernization Act, or the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 2000. Over the past several years, the regulations set forth by the legislation have commanded a great deal of time and resources to achieve compliance. But the regulations also require marketers to guarantee that their third-party suppliers meet many of the same stringent standards.