Marketers beware of public flogging for data misuse | DMA

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Marketers beware of public flogging for data misuse

“Don’t piss off your customers or else all your complex explanations will go out the window,” the deputy Information Commissioner David Smith warned the UK marketing industry at the DMA’s annual data conference on Friday 7 March (Data protection 2014).

Forget the fines from the regulators for data misuse, it’s the public flogging that will get you in the end through sites such as Breach Watch. Just because it’s legal it doesn’t make it right.

The NHS and care data is a case in point, where fear and confusion among the good old British public has forced the NHS to delay the scheme. When people are suspicious, truth goes out the window too.
And let’s not forget that data security is a big worry for people these days in the wake of the Snowden scandal. So why is that so many companies don’t even know they’ve had a breach until months after it’s occurred?

Speaking at Friday’s conference Opt-4 directors Rosemary Smith and Jenny Moseley, revealed that 66% of breaches took months or years to discover and 9% of data breaches were spotted by customers.

With more control for individuals and a move towards explicit consent in the EU data reforms, marketers will need to be more open about their practices. That’s why while the draft Regulation makes its way through the European Parliament, Smith is calling on UK businesses to ensure they’re ready for the changes by complying with the current legislation.

Watch 3 short clips from Data protection 2014

Deputy Information Commissioner, David Smith, on the biggest data challenges facing marketers today.

Rosemary Smith, co-director of Opt-4, on why many UK companies are walking into a data disaster.

Jenny Moseley, co-director of Opt-4, with 3 tips on how to avoid a data disaster.


By Smarayda Christoforou, Copywriter, the DMA

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