Does your Research Provider Have a Privacy Policy? - (Archived)

privacy.bmpLast year several employees from Market Connections attended the Market Research Association’s annual conference in Washington DC.  One of the many interesting break-out sessions I attended was titled “Exploring General Privacy Issues”.  The presenter was from The Council for Marketing and Opinion Research (CMOR), a non-profit organization that works on behalf of the survey research industry. 

The presentation outlined a number of best practices for market research firms regarding telephone, email and online privacy issues.  The first thing the speaker did was ask how many people in the audience had a written privacy policy.  Less than a quarter raised their hands.  Only one or two people indicated having a designated privacy policy officer.  Over coffee I spoke with several others that attended the session and queried them about their policies.  All actually complied with privacy best practices but when it came to having something in writing and posted on their websites,?? that was a different story.

Following the seminars, I did some informal investigating on my own.  I googled the term “market research firm” and visited about 40 market research firms’ websites looking for companies’ privacy policy statements.  Usually the link can be found at the very bottom of the home page in fine print.  My informal investigation resulted in about five websites with their privacy policies posted.  Most were very simple. One was very elaborate and was pages and pages long.  I was surprised that not more of the firms had posted privacy policies, particularly among the larger firms.

So the next time you are shopping around for a provider for a market research project, make sure you check out their privacy policy.  If it is not posted, ask. Market Connections’ policy can be found on the bottom of our home page or by clicking here.

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