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FTC Settlement with ChoicePoint Reiterates Need for Strong Security Measures
WASHINGTON, January 26, 2006 – Any time there is a theft of electronic information that can be used to commit fraud or identity theft, it raises concerns for all organizations that collect and use information for legitimate business purposes. In order to maintain consumer trust, such organizations have a responsibility to safeguard data against unauthorized or illegal use.
The Direct Marketing Association remains committed to working cooperatively with the FTC and other stakeholders to help ensure that all of its member companies are taking the appropriate steps to protect consumer information.
DMA's information security guidelines for marketers require member organizations that use personally identifiable information to implement and regularly review controls on the use and dissemination of such data. DMA members must also be sure their data security practices and policies continually evolve to reflect changing technology and ever-more- enterprising criminals. However, even organizations that do all the right things can occasionally become victims. If a significant breach of sensitive data does occur, DMA suggests that consumers be promptly notified if they are at risk for fraud or identity theft.
A checklist of information security procedures developed by DMA in cooperation with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and based on DMA guidelines is available atwww.the-dma.org/privacy/informationsecurity.shtml.
The DMA also supports federal legislation to create effective data security protections nationwide. It is our belief that such legislation should: focus on information that can be used to steal a consumer’s identity; require consumer notification when there has been a significant security breach involving such data; and strengthen law enforcement capabilities to identify and prosecute data thieves both here and abroad. It is also important that legislation would protect companies’ access to the data they need to reduce fraud by verifying the identities of consumers with whom they do business.
"There are many legitimate uses for information that are critical to maintaining America’s economy and preserving value, safety, convenience and choice for consumers," said Jerry Cerasale, DMA’s senior vice president for government affairs. "We have to strike a delicate balance that allows the appropriate collection and sharing of data while preventing unauthorized or indiscriminate access to data that can be used by identity thieves."
About the DMA
The Direct Marketing Association (www.the-dma.org) is the leading global trade association of business and nonprofit organizations using and supporting direct marketing tools and techniques. DMA advocates industry standards for responsible marketing, promotes relevance as the key to reaching consumers with desirable offers, and provides cutting-edge research, education, and networking opportunities to improve results throughout the entire direct marketing process. Founded in 1917, DMA today has more than 4,800 corporate, affiliate, and chapter members from the US and 46 other nations, including 55 companies listed on the Fortune 100.
In 2005, companies will spend more than $161 billion on direct marketing in the United States. Measured against total US sales, these advertising expenditures are expected to generate $1.85 trillion in increased sales in 2005, or 7% of the $26 trillion in total sales in the US economy (which includes intermediate sales). All together, direct marketing will account for 10.3% of total US GDP in 2005.
The Power of Direct: Relevance. Responsibility. Results.