MRA News

  • Apr 3, 2014
    The American Community Survey (ACS) and preparations for the 2020 decennial Census are vital to the success of the survey, opinion and marketing research profession in the U.S., since we cannot produce representative survey samples without them. That is why MRA joined with our Census Project coalition partners on April 2 to call upon the House and Senate Appropriations Committee leadership to fully fund the Census Bureau with $1.211 billion in Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15). In addition to their importance to the research profession, the decennial...
  • Apr 2, 2014
    The tracking and observation of shoppers as they peruse retail stores using the signals emmitted by their mobile devices raises some privacy concerns. Legislators in Maryland want to do something about it to help consumers. Delegate Sam Arora (D-19) introduced H.B. 924 and Senator Brian Feldman (D-15) introduced S.B. 950, companion bills that would require notification to consumers that their mobile phones are being tracked. H.B. 924 passed the House on March 10, and both bills were the subject of a Senate Finance Committee hearing on March 19...
  • Apr 2, 2014
    Despite the passage of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act as part of Obamacare in 2010, whose regulations on transparency in payments from pharmaceutical and medical device companies to physicians exclude blind marketing research with health care professionals, state legislators continue to offer legislation that would potentially restrict pharmaceutical and medical device marketing research studies. Meanwhile, across the pond, research associations in France are getting new help in combatting a Sunshine Act equivalent that failed to exclude...
  • Apr 1, 2014
    The White House requested comments as part of President Obama's review of Big Data and privacy, in a more formal fashion than their poorly executed online survey effort. The Marketing Research Association (MRA) filed comments yesterday on behalf of the survey, opinion and marketing research profession. MRA felt compelled to weigh in because "analysis of massive data sets is playing a growing role in the research business, both on its own and in conjunction with more traditional research methodologies." The association expressed concern that...
  • Mar 25, 2014
    “What worries me is what worries consumers,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (R-CT). “(1) Security and (2) privacy.” Blumenthal spoke at a Washington Post Live forum on the Internet of Things today, down the block from MRA's offices. He touched on a broad range of privacy, data security and other consumer protection issues. After referring to advertisers and marketers as “the exploiters,” he emphasized that “the key is personal choice… to decide what’s done with" personal information. For the consumer, “if you want to share it with the world,...
  • Mar 24, 2014
    As part of President Obama’s review of Big Data and privacy, the White House has declared “We want to hear your opinion” and posted a simple online poll to get it. The Marketing Research Association (MRA) is pleased that the White House grasps some of the value of survey, opinion and marketing research, based on their launch of this online survey effort. However, questionnaire design is crucial to the quality of the insights you can garner from any research, and these questions are lacking. Questions about feelings toward data collection, etc...
  • Mar 18, 2014
    Instead of asking hundreds of questions of respondents over a series of surveys to tease out their preferences and interests when visiting retail stores, why not just track their real-world behavior once they get there? That is one promise behind the use of location tracking technology in the retail shopper space for research purposes. However, the Marketing Research Association (MRA) agrees with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that the technology “raises a number of potential privacy concerns” and appreciates the FTC hosting a workshop on...
  • Mar 17, 2014
    With the deluge of data security legislation percolating in Congress, we have one more bill to join the ranks of Senator Leahy’s Personal Data Privacy and Security Act, Sen. Rockefeller’s Data Security and Breach Notification Act, Sen. Blumenthal’s Personal Data Protection and Breach Accountability Act, Sen. Toomey's Data Security and Breach Notification Act and the data security provisions in Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s SECURE IT Act. Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) recently introduced the “Data Security Act” (S. 1927),...
  • Mar 17, 2014
    President Obama's proposed budget for the coming fiscal year includes a 28 percent increase in funding for the Census Bureau, which is critical to the survey, opinion and marketing research profession's interests. The White House has proposed $1.211 billion dollars for the Census Bureau's activities in FY2015. According to the Department of Commerce, most of that money is dedicated to supporting the American Community Survey (ACS) and "key research and testing of innovative design methods necessary to achieve an effective 2020 decennial census...
  • Mar 12, 2014
    When a Congressional committee pulled legislation from their meeting agenda for March 12 that would have gutted the American Community Survey (ACS), some called it a victory, but we may have only bought ourselves more time. We discovered late last week that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee planned to vote on H.R. 1078, legislation from Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX-02) that would effectively make responding to the ACS a voluntary option. The bill would remove the mandatory response requirement from all but four ACS questions (name...