This week’s revelation that the United Parcel Service “lost” personal data from 3.9 million Citigroup customers—including Social Security numbers and payment histories—was yet the latest in a long line of data security breaches that further erode “the bridge of trust” that Direct Marketing Association president/CEO John A. Greco Jr. had hoped to foster with consumers.
“The furor over data security represents more concern from consumers and more bad press,” said Greco during the June 9 List and Database Council Luncheon held at the Harvard Club in New York.
The result, he said, is impending legislation on Capitol Hill. “It’s not a question of if,” but when new federal regulations will hit. New regulations involving data security could pass as soon as this summer, according to Greco, who reported that as many as six committees are looking at some kind of regulation regarding data security.
As the data security debate rages, Greco assured attendees that the DMA’s policy team is feverishly meeting and working with lawmakers. He spoke of a new five-point plan the association is pushing, one that seeks a national security standard, rather than laws that could vary state by state, that would extend to electronic information.
“We are working with lawmakers to craft a data standard that’s fair and balanced,” Greco said. “Only then will we begin to build a consumer trust.”