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Don’t limit gathering of consumer data: Marketing group

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Strict government regulations limiting consumer data use could cost the United States hundreds of thousands of jobs, according to a recent study commissioned by a group that supports data-driven marketing.

"Data is an incredibly important fuel for the U.S. economy. The data-driven marketing economy which is the companies using data to drive marketing campaigns for every industry across America. That industry is worth $156 billion to the U.S. economy per year in revenue and fuels about 675,000 jobs in 2012 alone," said Rachel Thomas, executive director of the Data Driven Marketing Institute, which commissioned the study.

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The Data Driven Marketing Institute is a part of the Direct Marketing Association, which opposed state Do Not Call registries of phone numbers that marketers are banned from calling.

Many states have passed privacy laws this year designed to protect consumer data, as public worries about privacy have grown, the New York Times reported this week. States have taken the lead on the issue as the federal government has failed to act, the report said.

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Thomas said that since leveraging big data through analytics doesn't have to be expensive, data can help encourage competition among companies of all sizes.

"Small businesses and start-ups have lower barriers to entry than ever before because they can use data to compete with larger players already in the market. They can use data to provide new, innovative products and services and also to find niche markets to target with those new and innovative products," Thomas said.

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