28 January 2015

Happy Privacy Day!

A look back on a year of raising awareness about privacy and data protection.

28 January 2015 marks the International Privacy Day, a moment during the year when we underline the importance of protecting individuals’ personal data from unauthorised and intrusive use. This year, ESOMAR is joining hands with a partnership of champions from across the world to mark the day and raise awareness. 

We were keen on becoming a champion to underline the primordial importance of protecting data and securing personal privacy as a means of maintaining trust with respondents and guaranteeing the white-hat reputation of the industry.

To mark the day, we wanted to look back at the achievements of our industry in promoting responsible business practices in the fields of data protection and privacy. Here are some of the highlights that I take away from a very busy year in 2014 and that we look forward to continuing in 2015!

Maintaining our robust, global self-regulation framework
As an industry, we champion responsible business practice for data protection and privacy, most notably through the ICC/ESOMAR Code which continues to serve as the ethical and operating framework guaranteeing that any voluntary participant in our research projects are protected from any harm as a result of participating in research.
Across the world, associations have also taken pro-active steps in 2014 to build upon the ICC/ESOMAR Code by developing new voluntary initiatives to increase our compliance with the EU/US Safe Harbour and the principles of prior notification.

Stepping up the practical guidance
We’ve been presenting more practical guidance on what regulators expect from our members at major industry meetings like the 2014 Printemps des Etudes and the 2014 Research and Results working hand-in-hand with national associations to underline the global trends and the local specificities.
This year, we take these efforts to the next level by adopting a Data Protection Checklist, drafted by leading experts in the field, which provides practical guidance for market research small and medium enterprises to design effective data management processes. Expect a new workshop to bring these suggestions to live at ESOMAR’s Congress this year!

Meeting with regulators to promote robust protections
We’ve been meeting regularly (over 60 meetings in the last year!) with regulators and other stakeholders throughout last year in partnership with EFAMRO to promote and secure a robust data protection framework that provide clear and consistent conditions for market research companies and market research respondents so that the requirements are clear and prevent the abuse of legislation creating unacceptable risks for respondents of research.
In these meetings we’ve been highlighting existing business practice to separate and render anonymous personal data provided to us by respondents.

Mission Possible: Advocacy with ESOMAR's Legal Affairs Committee from ESOMAR on Vimeo.

Informing you of the latest developments
Through webinars, a dedicated newsfeed, and twitter updates on @esomar #esomar, we’ve been keeping track of the latest regulatory developments, and the latest fines being handed out by regulators so that the importance of this topic escapes no one in the industry. This year we’ll continue providing for these activities so that the intelligence capacity of ESOMAR remains available and at the service of the industry.

Plans for 2015:
This year, we’ll be focussing on providing you even more practical guidance, so if you’ve got any ideas, questions, or suggestions, don’t hesitate to shout to us on ESOMAR’s various social media channels when we’ll be creating dedicated discussion threats for you to respond to!

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