As the reputational and financial risk of being revealed as an untrustworthy data host continues to escalate, and worldwide attention focuses on the illegitimate data collection conducted by Cambridge Analytica, the Association of Market and Social Research Organisations (AMSRO) has sounded a warning for Australian companies engaged in data collection and use.
“Australian organisations may feel that the Facebook issue is somewhat removed from their world. The reality is they are not exempt. No one is.”
“The spotlight is now squarely on how organisations manage and use personal data – from the smallest firms up to the very largest, client organisations and all those who deal in and store data.”
“The financial implications for a breach are significant and the reputational damage is potentially catastrophic, so the liability that goes with data management should be top of mind for all leaders of organisations,” said Craig Young, the President of AMSRO.
With the wealth of data available, any business handling personal information needs to be experienced and trusted users of data: with corporate reputation and revenue on the table, there is little room for error.
And while the market has seen over $US100 billion wiped from Facebook’s value as its partnership with Cambridge Analytica hits the headlines, AMSRO believes it is incumbent on the market and social research industry in Australia to continue to provide the highest level of protection to companies using research services, and in turn, to consumers.
AMSRO member companies have a long and successful track record in safeguarding respondent data and continue to conduct legitimate research working under strict privacy rules that protect confidentiality and prohibit any selling.
Personal information for market and social research (conducted by AMSRO member organisations) is collected only with consent and under strict codes and practices.
This includes a registered privacy code and an industry ‘Trust Mark’ – a seal of endorsement that assures business and government organisations they are buying research that is quality-tested and meets not only ethical standards but also goes over and above minimal privacy legislation.
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