DMA shunned for new data kitemark

A major push to get marketers to sign up to the Market Research Society’s new ethical kitemark for data handling – unveiled earlier this week – has hit the buffers already, after the DMA admitted it had never even heard of the scheme.
The Fair Data kitemark, which has the backing of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), is designed to ensure the public can place greater trust in organisations’ handling and use of data responsibly.
The MRS is reportedly in discussions with the Advertising Association and ISBA about getting members onboard but the DMA – by far the biggest industry body representing firms which gather data – has confirmed it had not been contacted.
The DMA already runs its own scheme, DataSeal, which was launched in January 2010 and has since been expanded beyond the DMA membership to members of the IPA, ISBA and the IPM.
Developed by the trade body in conjunction with British Standards Institute, DataSeal is the only recognised standard for information security management systems other than ISO:27001.
A DMA spokesman said: “We are still reviewing details on the Fair Data ethical mark, as we’ve only just found out about it.”
So far, only two consumer-facing firms – GlaxoSmithKline and Lil-lets – have signed up to the programme.
It is intended for both private and public sector use and can be used only if the organisation adheres to a series of commitments relating to data use and protection.
These commitments are based on that include all data is collected with consent, is only used for the purposes for which it was initially gathered and that customers can access their own data easily.
MRS chief executive Jane Frost said: “We believe that there is a real need to help the public identify with whom they can trust their data. Public concern is at an all-time high and we are getting increasing numbers of complaints about data use.”
The ICO has welcomed the move, with Commissioner Christopher Graham saying: “If the public are to let their personal data be used then they need to know which organisations they can trust to use it properly. Organisations need to make a public, visible commitment to standards in the handling of the personal data of others.”

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