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DMA launches new information security standard

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29th Jan 2010
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The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has launched a new data security standard specifically designed for companies using customer data for marketing,  and for third-party marketing services suppliers, such as agencies.

The standard, called DataSeal, is backed by the British Standards Institution (BSI),  and represents the only recognised standard for information security management systems other than the BSI's ISO 27001.

As such, DataSeal provides a cost-effective accessible alternative for those organisations looking to fulfill their security responsibilities but do not need to meet the further requirements of ISO 27001.

The announcement comes in the wake of several high-profile instances of data theft, loss and misuse and could prove particularly timely given the news that The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is getting tougher over data security with the imposition of fines of up to half a million pounds for serious breaches.

Robert Keitch, chief of membership and brand for the DMA, said: "Companies that have been involved in well-publicised cases of breaches of their customers’ data have received rough justice at the hands of the media; lost customers; damaged their brand; and incurred significant punitive fines imposed by regulators. Implementing robust consumer information security measures must therefore be a top priority for any company that holds customer data; not doing so could strike a serious blow to their bottom line."

He added: "The DMA developed DataSeal in recognition of businesses’ reliance on large quantities of good quality data on their customer base. Such information is crucial for effective marketing and for commercial enterprises like online retailing. Ensuring that this data is held securely and used correctly will help companies to build trustworthy relationships with greater numbers of consumers."

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