Archive for the ‘AOTA’ Category

Takeway from AOTA: When will Suppression List Abuse be considered Data Theft?

April 22, 2007

Martha Cookley, Attorney General for the State of Massachusetts, spoke to the AOTA summit on Wednesday, 4/19, as one of the opening keynote speakers and she presented this keynote: “The Vibrant Online Economy – Enhancing Productivity, Commerce and Employability while Protecting Users and Businesses from Online Criminals”.

I took away a lot from her presentation. She spoke about the challenges she faces in Massachusetts, and since she’s still new to the office (she’s been in office 3 months) she is still laying the groundwork for changes to how the state goes after criminals. But that’s her goal: find criminals, and put them behind bars so they can’t hurt consumers or commerce in the future.

Specifically, she mentioned the TJX credit card theft problems from late last year. The state of Massachusetts is leading the legal side of that investigation and prosecution.

Her comments about data theft, notification, and trust made me ask things like:

  • Is Suppression List Abuse akin to Data Theft?
  • When will someone like the FTC, the state AG offices, etc. start prosecuting companies that allow suppression lists to be stolen?
  • When will companies that have had their suppression lists abused or stolen have to start notifying consumers?

Suppression List Abuse is a big problem just waiting to affect the email marketing industry negatively…

Secure distribution is the only way we’re going to solve it.

I wish it were easier to get MD5 distribution supported as the standard method by which suppression lists were shared. In fact, we at UnsubCentral have created UnsubScrub to make it really really easy for affiliates and third-party senders to deal with MD5 suppression lists.

That’s what UnsubCentral has been designed to do from the beginning: securely manage your data, so you can focus on growing your business.


Notes from the “Online Crime and Identity Theft – Following the Bits & Bytes” panel at AOTA

April 19, 2007

I’m at the AOTA Summit in Boston this week…. and am trying to take notes at all of the sessions. Here’s the notes from the “Online Crime and Identity Theft – Following the Bits & Bytes” panel.

The speakers in this session were:

Scott Parsons
Deputy Assistant Secretary, US Dept of Treasury

Daniel Larkin
Chief Cyber Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation

Sana Coleman Chriss, Attorney
Federal Trade Commission
Marketing Practices Division

I personally took away most from Sana, at the FTC:

The FTC sued Jumpstart Technologies last year because they were sending out commercial messages, as if they were from personal addresses. So, think about how you do “send to a friend”? Is it a commercial message, but sent from a person, or should it be sent from your company? Do those “send to a friend” messages include an unsubscribe link? Are you scrubbing against that suppression list before you send that mail? Are you honoring the 10-day opt-out requirement of CAN-SPAM

Has a great program for consumers: OnGuard Online

They’re having a Spam Summit in D.C. on July 11th and 12th (I’ll be there and will report back on those developments)

Daniel at the FBI provided a lot of great information about who spammers are, where they live, and how the FBI goes after them. It’s a wild world out there still for the email spammers. Wow… I now more fully appreciate the challenges that face the FBI when it comes to spammer investigations. One other key point I took away from Daniel is that they face lots of confusion in the marketplace about how people can and should share information with law enforcement… At the end of the day intelligence is the key to what the FBI can actually prosecute.

And Scott gave some great perspective on why protecting consumers from ID theft and cyber-crime is super important, not just for the US Treasury, but rather for the whole US economy.