Privacy policies and why they matter

Don't ignore your privacy policy

Privacy policies are easy to ignore, tucked way down there at the bottom of webpages in a nearly transparent font. That, or a 287-page behemoth pop-up screen you’re expected to read and accept before you download a 10% off coupon. Yikes.

But for companies engaged in market research, privacy policies are essential documents in these days of mounting data collection concerns. They provide valuable assurance to respondents and good policies should provide a shield against regulation.

So how can your organization ensure that it hits all the important points to assuage fears around data privacy? The tl;dr version is this: “Say what you do, and do what you say.” Maintaining transparency and accountability is vital to forging strong connections with respondents. Comprehensive, yet clearly-worded privacy statements provide the groundwork for appropriate accountability.

  1. Tell participants what information you collect about them, why you collect it and how you share it.
  2. Tell participants about the choices they have to limit the collection or sharing of their information.
  3. Tell participants how they can access their information to review it or change it.
  4. Tell participants how you protect their information.
  5. Explain your commitment to maintaining relevant, accurate and complete information for only the outlined purpose.
  6. Tell participants how to contact you with a complaint.

Place your organization’s privacy policy on your website and clearly inform participants before they complete a survey how you will handle their private data. Establish a high benchmark that regulators and business partners will believe in. Commit to it throughout your organization, adapt to new technology as it’s released, and back up your determination to protecting consumer information.

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