Be a Good Data Steward
Data security and privacy issues can be broken into three main areas: data procurement, data usage and data transfer, says Lou Mastria, chief privacy officer and vice president of public affairs at NextAction, a Westminster, Col.-based cooperative data solutions firm. Let’s look at some key issues marketers should understand to address these areas with care.
When sourcing data for list rental or other business activities, the first thing to ascertain is who collected the information and is it a company that’s trustworthy. Ask for documentation, says Isaacson, that indicates the firm has done all the due diligence possible to acquire its data in an ethical and responsible manner. And when it comes to the where, what and how of data collection, he cautions marketers to remember there are two playing fields to evaluate: offline and online.
Given that the offline space has been dominated by data services companies with operations that go back decades, it’s easier to check the reputation of firms in this sector. Another factor to consider is that offline data doesn’t churn or migrate to new sources of information as quickly as it does in the online world, Isaacson points out, allowing marketers to get a better understanding of the data they’re sourcing. In the online world, however, most e-mail address files are no more than 10 years old, so you also have to look at the technology involved in the acquisition of e-mail addresses. Most, if not all, e-mail list entities obtain a time, date and IP address stamp for each e-mail address they collect, and make this information part of their data source file, says Isaacson.