Senators Jon McCain and John Kerry recently proposed a new privacy bill that has many marketers and businesses up in arms. How will it affect real estate investing and should you be worried?
While the bill is heralded as a necessary move to protect consumers, it is also being criticized as being potentially damaging to the marketing industry and not addressing the biggest issues. This new privacy bill is being promoted as essential to stopping companies from sharing and disseminating consumer information without their permission. While it sounds good and the public should always have their data protected, the question is if this bill is really fair, wise and is it being introduced at the right time.
The Direct Marketing Association has voiced opposition to the privacy bill and points out that it could dampen sales and crush marketing efforts just as real estate investing companies and other retailers are trying to pick up the pace from the recession. Bundles of additional disclosures that could be required at the point of sale could definitely have a negative affect on sales and depending on the final bill could wipe out some forms of lead generation and real estate investing marketing altogether. In particular this bill has those who have been heavily investing in mobile marketing worried that the apps, campaigns and smart mobile websites that include tracking features could come under more fire, meaning thousands of dollars and more wasted.
Certainly some real estate investing companies see potential new regulations unfair as consumers are really no more at risk from the data they share with them than the data that is stored at their bank and credit card companies. Plus you have to remember that the credit bureaus continue to sell all of our personal information on a daily basis, which should be of much more concern.
The bottom line is that if passed, this bill could mean real estate investing companies having to make some changes to their marketing and processes. However, as with changes that have restricted faxing, email spamming and telemarketing we will adjust, and many may consider simply registering their businesses offshore where they won’t be able to be fined for breaking the rules.