White House Privacy 'Multistakeholder Process' Should Include More Stakeholders than Just the Usual Suspects
(Targeted News Service Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) GLASTONBURY, Conn., April 6 -- The Marketing Research Association issued the following news:
In releasing its "Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights" on February 23, the White House (http://www.marketingresearch.org/news/2012/02/23/white-house-privacy-report-released) proposed to convene a "multistakeholder process" whereby "stakeholders who share an interest in specific markets or business contexts," come together in "transparent, open forums" to develop enforceable codes of conduct for U.S. companies. It then fell to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to request comments (i) on how best to start implementing that process.
So MRA submitted comments on April 3 on our major concerns with how the "multistakeholder process" for privacy should work (http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/mra_ntia_multistakeholder-comments_docket1201214135-2135-01_4-2-12.pdf).
Just as in drafting legislation and regulation, the crafting of industry codes of conduct requires that all industries potentially impacted by such codes be given the opportunity to participate and shape them. This includes stakeholders not discussed directly in most public debates, but impacted by most decisions regarding privacy, such as survey and opinion research.
As MRA noted in our comments on the original "Green Paper" (http://www.ntia.doc.gov/comments/101214614-0614-01/attachments/MRA_comments_DOC_privacy_1-28-11.pdf), agencies and policymakers cannot design a one-size-fits-all approach to privacy, particularly since certain industries and processes, such as survey and opinion research, bear so little resemblance to more commonly understood processes like e-commerce and marketing.
Even in the self-regulatory processes in various industries, MRA has recently expressed concerns about unintended consequences. While we appreciate that the Digital Advertising Alliance's "Principles for Multi-Site Data" excluded survey and opinion research (termed "Market Research or Product Development") from the coverage of their online behavioral tracking choice program, we do worry that the Alliance is the one defining such research (http://www.marketingresearch.org/news/2011/11/14/self-regulatory-proposals-for-marketing-research-designed-by-advertisers). No associations representing marketing researchers are a part of this coalition, just companies and organizations who conduct and are primarily interested in advertising. Even if the Alliance gave extensive thought to online behavioral tracking for research purposes, the Alliance members are not research companies, they do not represent researchers, and they are not research experts.
Thus, MRA wishes to ensure that any codes of conduct developed by the multistakeholder process incorporate a broad range of potentially impacted stakeholders, rather than simply the usual suspects.
MRA looks forward to continuing discussions and the multistakeholder privacy processes. As with the comprehensive privacy legislation proposed in Congress, the devil is more in the details than in the philosophical concepts. We will continue to focus our attention on the actual details and the real or expected impact on survey and opinion research - in the U.S. and around the world.
TNS 23SQ120407-JF78-3833962 StaffFurigay
(c) 2012 Targeted News Service
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