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New consumer trust mark to benefit companies, government and charities

1st Nov 18

Media Release: Nov 1 2018

New consumer trust mark to benefit companies, government and charities

A new consumer trust mark is helping companies provide consumers with confidence that when they hand over their data, it will be handled ethically, securely and in line with privacy law.

Fair Data, a new consumer-facing mark that shows market and social research companies have been certified by an international scheme that enables compliance with regulations, is being launched in Australia in November by peak body the Australian Market & Social Research Society (AMSRS).

It is akin to the widely used Fairtrade mark and certification is now available.

“In an industry that is built on trust and relies upon people willingly handing over their information, the public expect that their private data will be protected,” said Elissa Molloy, chief executive of the AMSRS. “It is vital that companies clearly show consumers they handle their personal information in an ethical and secure way.

“The mark identifies companies that take privacy seriously and have systems in place to ensure its handling of personal information complies with privacy law.

“We have adopted Fair Data because its 10 Fair Data principles set the highest ethical standards that enable compliance with regulations. This is important as Australian companies operate in a global market in a digital world where the collection, use and storage of data crosses borders."

All organisations – both public and private sector – that collect and use personal data are encouraged to become certified as a way of actively demonstrating their commitment to ethical data practices. These principles support and complement the Australian Privacy Principles, data protection legislation and other industry standards including the AMSRS’s Code of Professional Behaviour.

The Fair Data scheme will give the public confidence that research is carried out honestly, objectively and without unwelcome intrusion or disadvantage to participants.

“Critically it enables consumers to make educated choices about their personal data. If they deal with a Fair Data organisation, they can have confidence their personal information is safe,” Ms Molloy said.

About the Australian Market & Social Research Society
The Australian Market & Social Research Society (AMSRS) is the peak body for research professionals in Australasia. It has a diverse membership of individuals at all levels of experience and seniority within agencies, consultancies, support services, client-side organisations, the public sector and the academic community. The AMSRS also has more than 50 company and client-side organisational partners.

AMSRS research professionals and company partners commit to and are regulated by the Society’s Code of Professional Behaviour. The Society provides a suite of professional and quality standards designed for the market and social research industry.

The AMSRS offers training, professional development and accreditation programs for research professionals within agencies, consultancies, client-side organisations, the non-profit and government sectors, institutions and academics in the Asia-Pacific region.

About Fair Data
Companies certified to use the Fair Data mark agree to adhere to 10 Fair Data Principles:

  1. CONSENT. We will ensure that all personal data is collected with participants’/customers' consent.
  2. USE. We will not use personal data for any purpose other than that for which consent was given, respecting participants’/customers' wishes about the use of their data.
  3. ACCESS. We will make sure that customers have access to their personal data that we hold, and that we tell them how we use it.
  4. SECURITY. We will protect personal data and keep it secure and confidential.
  5. RESPECT. We will ensure staff understand that personal data is just that – personal – and ensure that is treated it with respect.
  6. PROTECTION. We will ensure that the vulnerable and underage are properly protected by the processes we use for data collection.
  7. SUPPLY CHAIN. We will manage our data supply chain to the same ethical standards we expect from other suppliers.
  8. PROCUREMENT. We will ensure ethical best practice in personal data is integral to our procurement process.
  9. TRAINING. We will ensure that all staff who have access to personal data are properly trained in its use.
  10. REPUTATION. We will not use personal data if there is uncertainty as to whether the Fair Data Principles have been applied.