Marketers would beg to differ. In a blog post disputing that passage of the speech, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) said,
"DMA was disappointed to see the responsible use of consumer data for marketing purposes conflated with 'government surveillance.' As revelations regarding NSA practices have come to light in recent months, DMA has been working hard to make it clear to policymakers and the media that issues around government surveillance are not related to data-driven marketing."
The unfavorable comparison of marketers with the NSA seems to be a common theme now among some regulators. In a hearing last month held by the congressional Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) said, “The NSA is so secure in its protection of privacy compared to data brokers, it’s not even close."
Rockefeller called out three database marketing companies – Acxiom, Epsilon and Experian Marketing Services –for what he described as a resistance to supply direct answers to the committee. “I’m putting these three companies on notice today that I’m not satisfied with these answers and there are further steps we can use to get answers to these questions," he said.
Obama's widely anticipated address followed an independent review of the NSA’s use of technology to gather intelligence. In it, Obama called for new controls on the spying program.