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AMSRO announces independent review for Privacy Code – public consultation now open

Dec 11 2019

Public consultation now open

The Association of Market and Social Research Organisations (AMSRO) today opened the public consultation phase for the Independent Review of its Privacy (Market and Social Research) Code 2014. The public consultation period is open now until Friday 17 January 2020.

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 go over and above minimal privacy legislation to protect confidentiality and prohibit any selling.

In accordance with privacy law, the Code is subject to review by an Independent Reviewer Panel at least every five years to ensure it remains effective and relevant.

To undertake this important project, AMSRO commissioned, Professor Peter Leonard, Principal of Data Synergies and Professor of Practice (Schools of IT Systems and Management, and Business and Taxation Law) at UNSW Business School, as the independent reviewer.

Professor Leonard’s recommendations include:

  • to bring the Code up to date, by addressing changes in the law;
  • to clarify some aspects of operation of the Code that were not as clearly expressed as would be ideal;
  • to reference relevant guidance and explanatory material that has been released by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) since the Code was registered in 2014.

​“As a $1 billion industry, research, data collection and insights are an important service that benefits all Australians. From political polls and television ratings, surveys of customer satisfaction and the development of products and services, to studies on public health in Australia, research provides valuable information about the society in which we live. This information helps government, commercial and not-for-profit organisations make informed decisions based upon the interests and needs of their constituents, clients and the general public,” AMSRO Executive Director, Sarah Campbell, said.

“It is therefore important that AMSRO member organisations lead the field in privacy compliance and protecting both the industry and the millions of Australians who engage in market and social research. This has been demonstrated by the fact that our member organisations have a 15-year record without a single finding of a privacy breach.

“Working with the OAIC and privacy experts, AMSRO will continue to pioneer best practice approaches for the responsible use of customer data in research and analytics. The independent code review is part of that process and demonstrates our commitment to ensuring we are doing just that.”

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 based on its partnership with Cambridge Analytica, 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.

Today’s data-driven world and the number of recent high-profile privacy breaches have seen a growing need to ensure that personal information is always protected.  Working under AMSRO’s Privacy (Market and Social Research) Code is a significant step in ensuring this continues to occur in the market and social research, data and insights sector.

Having rigorous privacy compliance processes in organisations will be imperative as consumers and regulators rightfully ramp up their expectations regarding appropriate data use and handling.

The Independent Privacy Code Review runs from Wednesday 11 December 2019 until Friday 17 January 2020.

Interested parties are invited to make a submission to AMSRO by Friday 17 January 2020. Please see here for further details.

For more information please contact:
Sarah Campbell
Executive Director, AMSRO
0417 665 144

Rochelle Burbury
Third Avenue Consulting
0408 774 577