A Cape Town start-up that recently set up an alternative to the troubled opt-out list created by the Direct Marketing Association is to launch a bid to operate the national opt-out registry.
Cape Town start-up TrustFabric announced this week that they will bid to become the operator of the national opt-out registry, an official database that allows consumers to block unwanted direct marketing.
The registry is to be set up in terms of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), which came into effect on 1 April this year. It protects consumers’ right to privacy and lets anyone opt-out of direct marketing messages.
Personal information is routinely traded and sold, but the CPA makes it illegal to contact a person who has added their contact details to the national opt-out registry.
The National Consumer Commission (NCC) earlier this year issued a call for tenders to operate the registry. Only three bids were received and, this week, the NCC published a notice stating that the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is the preferred bidder to become the operator of the national opt-out registry. Deloitte Consulting’s bid was unsuccessful, apparently on the basis that it did not have an existing system in place. A third bid, from a legal practise, was also unsuccessful.
The NCC has invited objections to its naming the DMA as preferred bidder, with a deadline of 29 July. It is in this context that TrustFabric is both raising an objection and putting itself forward as an alternative.
Concerns have been raised about the security of the DMA’s systems. Earlier this year ITWeb reported that the DMA’s opt-out database had been leaked (http://www.itweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=44060%3Admasa-database-leaked&O=ql). Last week MyBroadband reported that their website security had been compromised (http://mybroadband.co.za/news/internet/29632-dmasa-website-hosting-malware.html.
“Operating the national opt-out registry is a great responsibility. It should be run by a trusted and independent entity and it should be very user friendly,”” says Joe Botha, CEO of TrustFabric. They launched an alternative to the DMA’s opt-out service in June.
“”TrustFabric Connect gives users a way to define how businesses are allowed to contact them via email, phone, text message and snail mail. It’s an Advanced Opt-out service, which is aware of business relationships and is designed with the Consumer Protection Act and the Protection of Personal Information Bill in mind,”” says Botha.
“”Our focus has been on making the service convenient and accessible,”” says Botha. “”We already have more than 70000 customer records loaded and we’ve had very positive feedback from both customers and businesses using our services.””
TrustFabric offers Vendor Relationship Management (VRM) services.
“”Businesses use CRM to manage relationships with their customers, while VRM in turn provides customers with tools to manage relationships with businesses,”” explains Botha. “”The new service is a natural extension of this ethos as it puts power back in the hands of the customer.””
* For more information, visit TrustFabric at http://www.trustfabric.com.