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DMA Seeks Balance in Legislation to Protect Use of Social Security Numbers for Legitimate Business Purposes
For Immediate Release Contact:
Washington, DC, July 18, 2007 — As Congress continues to seek ways to protect Americans from fraud and identity theft, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is asking legislators to adopt a balanced proposal that prohibits the open purchase, sale, and display of Social Security numbers (SSNs), but protects the use of this critical information for legitimate business purposes.
In a letter to the US House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means in advance of a hearing on the bill today, DMA urged legislators to include important exceptions in the current language of the Social Security Number Privacy and Identity Theft Prevention Act of 2007 (H.R. 3046).
DMA supports the goals of this legislation, and strongly encourages strict safeguards for SSNs and other sensitive data that could, in the wrong hands, be used to commit fraud and identity theft. However, the Association expressed concern that as currently written, H.R. 3046 would inadvertently prohibit access to critical information necessary by the business community in its efforts to prohibit fraud.
In the letter,
“We believe that it is critical to balance the important goals of limiting the SSN with the need to preserve important tools and practices that help businesses and protect consumers,” said
Specifically, DMA is seeking an exemption in the bill that would preserve critical business-to-business uses of SSNs for fraud-detection purposes. DMA’s individual request to the House committee today echoes similar positions set forth in a letter signed jointly by DMA, the Consumer Data Industry Association, the US Chamber of Commerce, and other trade associations.
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About Direct Marketing Association (DMA)
The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) (www.the-dma.org) is the leading global trade association for business and nonprofit organizations that use and support multichannel direct marketing tools and techniques. DMA advocates standards for responsible marketing, promotes relevance as the key to reaching consumers with desirable and appropriate offers, and provides cutting-edge research, education, and networking opportunities to improve results throughout the end-to-end direct marketing process.
Founded in 1917, DMA today represents more than 3,600 companies from dozens of vertical industries in the
In 2006, marketers — commercial and nonprofit — spent $166.5 billion on direct marketing in the
The Power of Direct: Relevance. Responsibility. Results.