New York—The Direct Marketing Association has criticized a Federal Trade Commission member for writing a column equating the collection of Internet browsing behavior for advertising purposes with the data-collection practices of the National Security Agency, which has attracted recent controversy.
“This op-ed inaccurately targets reputable practices that benefit consumers and unfairly demagogues the hundreds of thousands of people employed in the field of responsible data-driven marketing,” wrote DMA President-CEO Linda Woolley, in a letter
sent to FTC Commissioner Julie Brill, author of the column.
Brill's column, “Demanding Transparency From Data Brokers,”
published last week in the Washington Post, referred to data collectors that “spew out alarmingly personal predictions about our health, financial status, interests, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, politics and habits.” Brill said these practices “push legal boundaries.”