Late last year, Australian Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim revealed community research confirming that 60% of Australians have decided not to deal with an organisation because of concerns about privacy and 74% reported they were more concerned about providing information via the internet than they were two years earlier.
Growing online engagement and digital information storage means that trust, security and privacy are not only leading factors in research participants’ engagement they are also key elements of successful B2C and B2B relationships. These factors are also linked to data accuracy and the ongoing development of industry best practice.
Why would people feel a lack of trust?
A few newsworthy examples may provide a bit of a clue:
- Headlines highlighting that Target is facing a shareholder derivative lawsuit after previously announcing that 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been affected by a massive data breach.
- Reports that approximately 20 million South Koreans (almost half the country’s population) learned that their names, social security numbers and credit card details had been illegally copied and sold to marketing firms.
- Sony Playstation’s revelation that a data breach meant 1.5 million Australian user accounts including potentially 280,000 credit card numbers were now in the hands of hackers.
Pro-actively building trust with research participants and customers
The Association of Market and Social Researchers Association (AMSRO) has developed its own privacy code for members following the release of the new Privacy Amendment Act on 12 March 2014. This makes AMSRO the only Australian industry body to seek to register a non-mandatory Code that sets out how the Australian Privacy Principles in the Privacy Act are to be applied and complied with by AMSRO members.
AMSRO has also established a Privacy Compliance Committee. You can see more here.
What does the recently launched AMSRO Trustmark stand for?
Stable Research holds the AMSRO Trustmark. It is awarded to member research organisations that meet strict criteria. The Trustmark ensures that the holding AMSRO member company is compliant with the highest ethical standards, particularly related to privacy.
The standard requires:
- Adherence to the Market & Social Research Privacy Code
- Must have the International Standard for Market, Opinion and Social Research qualifications (ISO 20252)
- Adherence to the AMSRS Code of Professional Behaviour
The Trustmark also provides buyers of research the assurance that their data is protected.
Stable Research has implemented procedures that enhance customer trust, privacy, data protection and data accuracy
Stable Research has rigorous systems in place to ensure the safeguard and security of data at all times. Managerial systems, such as confidentiality agreements with staff, and supplier agreements are also in place to ensure their compliance to Privacy Principles and Codes.
In addition, all lists can be received via Symantec PTP encryption or as password protected. Customer lists are quarantined throughout the recruitment process and only information required for an individual project is uploaded with all data destroyed on completion.
The market research industry relies on gaining insight into people’s thoughts and motivations. If there is a lack of trust then research participants will be reluctant to fully engage. At the same time customers may be wary because of concerns about privacy and data accuracy. The latest industry developments that clearly highlight a commitment to excellence is a definite step in the right direction.