Responsibilities of Database Compilers
New Guideline Approved June 2007
For purposes of this guideline, a database compiler is a company that assembles personally identifiable information about consumers (with whom the compiler has no direct relationship) for the purpose of facilitating renting, selling, or exchanging the information to non-affiliated third party organizations for marketing purposes.
Database compilers should:
- Establish written (or electronic) agreements with customers that define the rights and responsibilities of the compiler and customer with respect to the use of marketing data.
- Upon a consumerís request, and within a reasonable time, suppress the consumerís information from the compilerís and/or the applicable customerís database made available to customers for prospecting.
- Not prohibit an end-user marketer from divulging the database compiler as the source of the marketerís information.
- At a minimum, explain to consumers, upon their request for source information, the nature and types of sources they use to compile marketing databases.
- Include language in their written (or electronic) agreements with DMA member customers that requires compliance with applicable laws and DMA guidelines. For non-DMA member customers they should require compliance with applicable laws and encourage compliance with DMAís guidelines. In both instances, customers should agree before using the marketing data.
- Require customers to state the purpose for which the data will be used.
- Use marketing data only for marketing purposes. If the data are non-marketing data but are used for marketing purposes, they should be treated as marketing data for purposes of this guideline.
- For sensitive marketing data, compilers should review materials to be used in promotions to help ensure that their customersí use of the data is both appropriate and in accordance with their stated purpose. Sensitive marketing data include data pertaining to children, older adults, health care or treatment, account numbers, or financial transactions.
- Randomly monitor, through seeding or other means, the use of their marketing databases to ensure that customers use them in accordance with their stated purpose.
- If a database compiler is or becomes aware that a customer is using consumer data in a way that violates the law and/or DMAís ethics guidelines, it should contact the customer and require compliance for any continued data usage, or refuse to sell the data and/or refer the matter to the DMA and/or a law enforcement agency.
For purposes of the Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice, the following definitions are used:
Customer refers to those marketers that use the database compilerís data.
Consumer refers to the subject of the data.
Marketing data means actual or inferred information consistent with a personís commercial or charitable inquiry or transaction, or market research or market survey information. Such information can be derived from either a direct contact or marketing partnership when linked to a personís name, postal or e-mail address, or telephone number, or any other personally identifiable information. When obtained from a publicly available source, information (including public record information), not combined with other information, is not marketing data.
Marketing purpose means:
Any activity undertaken to collect, aggregate, analyze, maintain, update, or sell information in order to allow or induce consumers to take action to purchase, rent, or exchange products, property or services, to solicit a charitable donation, to utilize market research or market surveys, or to provide verification services to marketers.
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