Magazine article CRM Magazine

This Month, It's All about the Data

Magazine article CRM Magazine

This Month, It's All about the Data

Article excerpt

When the news media wasn't fawning over Stormy Daniels, it seemed to have blanketed us throughout the month of March with coverage of the ongoing customer data crisis. Saks, Lord & Taylor, Panera Bread, Under Armour, and Orbitz were just some of the companies whose data gaffes were a mainstay of the media maelstrom. And they weren't even the biggest news stories.

First there was the ever-expanding Equifax data breach. Still reeling from the initial crisis that came to light in September, the credit reporting company said that 2.4 million more consumers than previously reported were likely affected by the breach, bringing the total to 147.9 million.

Then came revelations that political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica harvested personal data from about 50 million Facebook users that it could use to target them with tailored ads. Facebook's questionable handling of its members' information not only triggered a few U.S. government investigations but set off a public relations and stock market nightmare that is sure to plague the social media giant for some time.

Then there was the mad scramble for companies to realign their data strategies in advance of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which takes effect later this month (May 25). Companies that do business in Europe have been working overtime for months to get their data in order, secure the necessary permissions, and upgrade their data security protocols; vendors have been just as busy testing and remar-keting their software in advance of the new rules.

Then as part of its ruling in ACA International v. the FCC (see the story "Court Strikes Down TCPA Expansions," page 15), a Washington circuit court of appeals affirmed U.S. consumers' ability to revoke consent to receive telemarketing phone calls (I, for one, can't imagine why anyone would consent to those in the first place).

The month ended with Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) introducing a bill in Congress to strengthen U.S. data protections. In introducing the bill, called the Data Accountability and Trust Act (appropriately abbreviated DATA), Rush said that "strong national data privacy and data protection rules are long overdue. …

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