Computer hack

TalkTalk data security breach – what this means for market researchers

There’s been a lot of talk in the media this week about the data security breach of internet & phone line provider TalkTalk, with fears that hackers have managed to gain the personal & banking information of their 4 million customers.

From a market research perspective, these instances make it increasingly important to reassure respondents that their personal information is held securely and will remain completely confidential and anonymous.

As an independent market research agency, we ensure the following data security steps are taken:

Encrypted databases

All projects we work on where a database is required, for an online survey for example, we ensure that every care is taken to protect a respondent’s personal information throughout the research process by password protecting each database.

Relevant information

It’s important that we as researchers think carefully about the information we request from respondents to ensure we are only asking for information critical to the research. At Research by Design we do this by justifying requests for personal information, for example we will only ask for a postcode for geographically focused research.

We may also ask for an email address in order to send the respondent a copy of the research report. We will always work hard to reassure respondents as to why we are requesting specific details that they may not initially be comfortable to pass on.

Code of conduct

As market researchers we abide by the Market Research Society code of conduct which ensures all effort is given to protect all personal data submitted into a research project, and that no personal information may be passed on without signed permission from the individual.

Independent third party

We never pass on the details of the respondents we speak with to our clients, which reduces the likelihood of any databases being the subject of hacking. This also means that any information submitted to a company who commission the market research is entirely anonymous.

By Lauren Harris, Research Executive 

This entry was posted in Market research, tagged Engagement and posted on October 30, 2015

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