It shouldn’t take data breaches making headlines to get people to think about privacy policies and how online data is protected. Conducting qualitative or quantitative market research inevitably requires sharing of personal information. If the subject of a research study happens to be medical in nature, a whole other layer of privacy matters comes into play.
We’ve highlighted the importance of privacy with market research recruitment in past blogs, but having robust privacy protocols isn’t limited to recruitment only. There are many other facets during a study where privacy needs to be protected and procedures in place to ensure the security of sensitive information, from recording in-depth interviews or focus groups to transcription.
Boiler-plate privacy policies may be sufficient when making contact with potential recruits, but the subject of the study will determine what additional privacy measures need consideration.
Considering privacy matters doesn’t end when the interaction with research participants is over. Most research firms outsource transcription services, as it’s more cost and time effective to have a professional transcription company convert hours and hours of audio and/or video into written transcripts. Even this component of market research has privacy considerations. If you’re conducting a medical study there are often HIPPA regulations and additional privacy protocols that need to be followed throughout the study, from first contact with potential recruits through transcription.
Thinking about privacy policies may not be the first thing that comes to mind when embarking on a market research study, but it is important. Before committing to a market research firm or recruitment agency, ensure there are adequate privacy policies in place. With this peace of mind, you can move forward knowing that it won’t be your company or study making headlines for a data breach.