DMA Seeking Feedback On Updated Standards

Leadership at the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) is rolling out the organization’s Data Standards 2.0, a streamlined version of guidelines not updated since 2014. Features of the new set of standards include clarifications on rules relating to connected devices and notice and choice.

The DMA, formerly known as the Direct Marketing Association, is seeking feedback on the new standards before adopting them, with potential changes, in the coming months, according to Emmett O’Keefe, senior vice president of advocacy.

O’Keefe described the updated guidelines as a “wholesale review” of their predecessors that consisted first of an evaluation of existing guidelines by a group of a few dozen members and then, in the past year, a more critical view of areas of focus. When it comes to donor and constituent choice, for instance, organizations should provide notice of their ability to opt-out of the sharing of their personally identifiable data with non-affiliated third parties, according to the guidelines, and requests to opt out should be honored promptly.

If an organization has promised to honor an opt-out for a specific time period, the organization should provide a new notice and opportunity to opt-out at the expiration of the initial period.

Connected devices, defined as any device connected to the Internet, are another area of the guidelines that wasn’t dramatically changed, but clarified, according to O’Keefe. The new standards state that any organization that offers a choice with respect to the collection of marketing data should not collect such data from connected devices or transfer data for marketing use if the donor has opted out.

“Again, it always goes back to notice and choice,” O’Keefe said. “As the guidelines lay out, the responsible marketer provides full notice. They tell the consumer what data is being collected and how it will be used and give the consumer the opportunity to opt out of future marketing activities and the sharing of data with third parties.”

Meeting current best practices and public expectations are driving forces behind the new guidelines, he said. The European Union has recently established new regulations, albeit with a different level of force behind them, also recognizing evolving donor expectations and data protection. The hope is that, by being transparent upfront, organizations can develop trust and relationships with donors and constituents, O’Keefe said.

To review the new guidelines, visit www.thedma.org. Feedback can be sent to [email protected]