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THE DMA CALLS HOLLINGS PRIVACY BILL PREMATURE : Self-Regulation Now Covers More than 90 % of Internet Traffic
NEW YORK, May 17, 2002 – The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) today expressed its opposition to legislation being briskly pushed through the Senate that would grant the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 'carte blanche' to over-regulate offline data collection. The lack of hearings on the offline provisions of the Online Personal Privacy Act (S. 2201) present a major concern for all affected parties.
This legislation also would cover online data collection and it fails to take into account that industry self-regulation of data privacy protocols have reached more than 90 percent of all Internet traffic. This renders the proposed bill's aims premature.
"This bill is a mistake," said H. Robert Wientzen, president & CEO, The DMA. "It has been drafted in the absence of hearings on the true consequences of the proposed new federal regulatory scheme."
"The full consequences of this bill have not yet been fully considered. It will not only impact the $1.7 trillion direct marketing industry, but also the entire retail industry," Wientzen said.
"Industry self-regulation is working. The bill is hurrying to fix something that is not yet broken. To add insult to injury, the bill does not even incorporate any standards for federal regulators to use in enforcement of offline data collection – granting an alarming amount of legislative power to the FTC." Wientzen concluded.
The DMA is the leading and largest trade association for businesses interested in interactive and database marketing, with almost 5,000 member companies from the United States and 53 other nations. Founded in 1917, its members include direct marketers from every business segment as well as the nonprofit and electronic marketing sectors. Included are catalogers, Internet retailers and service providers, financial services providers, book and magazine publishers, book and music clubs, retail stores, industrial manufacturers and a host of other vertical segments, including the service industries that support them. According to a DMA-commissioned study, direct and interactive marketing sales in the United States exceeded $1.7 trillion in 2000, including $110 billion in catalog sales and $28 billion in sales generated by the Internet. The DMA's Web Site iswww.the-dma.org and its consumer Web site is www.shopthenet.org.