Interact 2012 starts off on the first day with one big session, one introductory session, and one fun session. First with the big: In conjunction with Interact 2012, the Online Trust Alliance is offering a full-day intensive course in email authentication and the emerging DMARC standard. OTA executive director, founder & president Craig Spiezle has assembled a group of industry luminaries to lead participants through the training, which will include case studies, use cases and best practices for implementing, managing and optimizing email and domain authentication.

The course will cover technical details regarding SPF and DKIM deployment, including outbound and inbound authentication. In addition, the updated curriculum includes Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC), which is already in production at thousands of interactive marketers and brands worldwide. Building on the deployment of SPF and DKIM, DMARC provides significant telemetry and data aiding in brand protection and forensics reporting.

Later in the afternoon, our director of sales engineering Mike Hillyer conducts a two-hour introductory course that we’re unofficially calling Message Systems 101. Message Systems offers a wide range of solutions that can help enterprises solve real-world business challenges. But where do you start? This course was designed with the newest members of the Message Systems Community in mind. Whether you’re primarily responsible for the install and deployment of the Message Systems Customer Conversation Hub for your business, or you’re tasked with developing a strategy that ensures every customer touchpoint is a branding and relationship-building opportunity, this course will help you get the most value out of your time at Interact 2012.

In the evening, we’re repairing to the Lagoon Pool for our Welcome Reception. This is where it all began last year, getting MS Interact 2011 off to an energetic and friendly start over some top-shelf Mexican food and cold drinks. I’m told this year’s menu will take things in a different direction, so we’ll just have to see what our hosts have in store for us.

One of the main topics for discussion at last week’s OTA Forum in Washington D.C. was the rash of security breaches targeting ESPs over the past year. We heard a lot from concerned brands and service providers about the nature of the threats, and the measures they can take to representatives of government on breach reporting and other regulatory remedies. I’m sure this will be a major topic of discussion at MAAWG this week in Paris as well. (more…)

What I want to talk about here is how we move forward in addressing data security — more precisely, a framework for addressing the issue, not the particulars. First, I’m pleased to see various industry organizations mobilizing to form task forces, etc. to address this challenge — DMA, ESPC, MAAWG, OTA, etc. And equally impressive are the companies that have rushed to publish prescriptive advice (and even product solutions) for better management of customer data. Whether we totally agree with what’s being proposed is immaterial. It’s constructive movement in the right direction. (more…)