In the UK, industry body the Market Research Society (MRS) is marking Data Privacy Day by reporting nineteen organisations to the Information Commissioner's Office for 'selling under the guise of research'.
Intended to raise awareness of/promote privacy and data protection best practice, the Day is currently 'celebrated' in the US, Canada and 27 European countries, every 28th January.
Last summer, the MRS launched a hotline through which organisations and members of the public can report unsolicited calls which contravene its Code of Conduct, and to specifically address the growing problem of sugging (selling under the guise of research) and frugging (fundraising under the guise of market research). As a result of this initiative, the MRS has now reported nineteen organisations - including several charities - to the Information Commissioner's Office for formal investigation.
The MRS is also using the day to encourage organisations to sign up to its Fair Data ethical standard, to help members of the public distinguish between those companies which collect, use and retain personal data properly and ethically, and those that do not.
CEO Jane Frost comments: 'Public concern is at an all-time high and we are getting increasing numbers of complaints about data use. The research sector that MRS represents has been at the forefront of ethical personal data collection and use for decades, and it is appropriate that we should take a leading role on this issue - reporting firms that have been identified as acting unethically for further investigation.'
Web site: www.mrs.org.uk .
All articles 2006-19 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas.