Data Group’s Updated Ethical Standards Keep Up With the Times

The result of a yearlong initiative that involved dozens of stakeholders, the Data & Marketing Association's updated data standards document includes updates meant to keep pace with fast-evolving technology.

The Data & Marketing Association knows that data is moving a lot faster these days—but even with that rising velocity, the group wants to ensure its member companies use data responsibly.

This week, DMA announced an update to its self-regulatory rules in regard to data standards. The association worked with various industry stakeholders on its Data Standards 2.0 initiative, which it launched a year ago, resulting in revisions related to onboarding notices and data collection related to connected devices. Additionally, the standards have been updated to take into account recent trends in data and marketing technology.

The goal of the updated standards, according to DMA, is to balance technical innovation with rules, while ensuring that such data use is transparent and clear to consumers.

“We, as an industry, must remain vigilant when it comes to protecting the self-regulatory framework that governs our ability to access and use marketing data responsibly,” the association stated on its website regarding the latest update.

The new standards build upon the organization’s existing Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice, a self-regulatory document that is more than 60 years old, with the goal of accounting for emerging industry trends. Dozens of companies and organizations, including tech giants like Google and Facebook, media companies like Time Warner and Hearst, data and research firms like Nielsen and MediaMath, and associations like the ASPCA, played an active role in the development of the updated standards.

In comments to Associations Now, DMA CEO Tom Benton noted that the updated guidelines are intended to “keep pace with the innovative ways marketers are transforming data into actionable insight.”

“These updated standards ensure that industry self-regulation protects and builds customer trust while nurturing advances in marketing practices, technology, and responsible data use,” Benton added.

DMA General Counsel Senny Boone, who heads DMA’s accountability and compliance department, added that the data standards are often driven by consumer concerns, and its standards are intended to help resolve those concerns whenever possible.

“We take seriously our role to build consumer trust through self-regulation in data-driven marketing, while advancing innovation for consumers through data-driven marketing techniques that improve their lives,” she said in an emailed statement.

The rules, which can be viewed on the DMA website, will take effect in July 2018, but prior to that point, the association plans to integrate its new data standards into its educational offerings.

(MATJAZ SLANIC/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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