MRA News

  • Oct 17, 2014
    “As businesses, you need to be concerned about losing your customers’ trust if the big data analytics on which you rely cannot handle consumers’ private information with sensitivity and respect.” That was the opening warning from FTC Commissioner Julie Brill at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce conference on October 7 on “The Future of Data-Driven Innovation.” In her remarks, she told attendees that “trust is the belief – but not certainty – that a person, company, or device will do what an individual expects, and not something else.” Meeting and...
  • Oct 16, 2014
    The New Hampshire Attorney General (AG) office's crusade against a supposed push poll law violator appears to be over. On October 15, the State Supreme Court of New Hampshire rejected the AG's appeal of a district court's ruling in the case of New Hampshire Attorney General v. Bass Victory Committee. The district court originally dismissed the case in 2013 on grounds of federal preemption, based on a Federal Election Commission ruling and an amicus brief filed by the Marketing Research Association (MRA) and the American Association of...
  • Oct 14, 2014
    The Golden State just can't stop tightening data security requirements California Governor Jerry Brown (D) recently signed A.B. 1710 into law, expanding the requirements of the Golden State’s data security requirements to include not just the owner or licenser of personal data, but also anyone who "maintains" such data. The terms "own" and "license" include "personal information that a business retains as part of the business’ internal customer account or for the purpose of using that information in transactions with the person to whom the...
  • Oct 9, 2014
    According to the U.S. International Trade Commission, digitally enabled service exports from OECD countries neared $1.6 trillion in 2011, and a recent International Trade Commission report estimated that U.S. GDP could increase by an estimated $16.7 to $ 41.4 billion if barriers to digital trade were removed. Those statistics spurred a recent House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade hearing on cross-border data flows, which asked if digital trade restrictions could hurt U.S. jobs. The Marketing Research Association (MRA)...
  • Oct 8, 2014
    On September 15, the FTC convened a public workshop to explore, in the words of FTC Commissioner Edith Ramirez (D), “whether and how big data helps to include or exclude certain consumers from full opportunity in the marketplace.” Ramirez opened the workshop, noting that the output of data in the world is doubling every two years and “advances in computational and statistical methods mean that this mass of information can be examined to identify correlations, make predictions, draw inferences, and glean new insight.” Hitting upon concerns...
  • Oct 1, 2014
    The recent FTC report on data brokers identified a large number of publicly-available data sources. Tell us: are you making use of them in your research? FEDERAL GOVERNMENT“For example, the U.S. Census Bureau provides information about the demographics of particular city blocks, such as ethnicity, age, education level, household makeup, income, occupations, and commute times. In addition, it provides geographic information including roads, addresses, congressional districts, and boundaries for cities, counties, subdivisions, and school and...
  • Oct 1, 2014
    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has lined up data brokers in the agency’s crosshairs – and the FTC could ultimately target survey, opinion and marketing researchers. The FTC recently conducted an in-depth study of nine data brokers who “collect personal information about consumers from a wide range of sources and provide it for a variety of purposes, including verifying an individual’s identity, marketing products, and detecting fraud. Because these companies generally never interact with consumers, consumers are often unaware of their...
  • Sep 30, 2014
    Sometime today, data about payments made by pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers to doctors will be made public in a searchable Open Payments database. Supporters "believe that improved transparency will increase accountability, credibility, and ultimately improve the practice of medicine." The Physician Payments Sunshine Act, enacted as part of Obamacare in 2010, requires the public reporting of payments from pharmaceutical and medical device companies to health care professionals. The Sunshine system has faced serious IT hurdles,...
  • Sep 22, 2014
    The Wyoming legislature's Task Force on Digital Information Privacy met on September 18 and 19 to consider draft legislation (15LSO - 0075 W 0.2) that would cause consumers to tune out data security breach notifications and make them complacent in the face of identity theft. As MRA explained to Task Force members, the legislation would dramatically alter the definition of “personal identifying information,” expanding it to include a long list of common data points that are not necessarily personally identifiable and are not prone to identity...
  • Sep 15, 2014
    The House Energy & Commerce Committee recently requested public comment in response to a white paper on reforming universal service program. MRA submitted the following comments on September 15 (pages 29-32 of this committee document): I submit these comments on reforming the Universal Service Fund (USF) on behalf of the Marketing Research Association (MRA), a non-profit national membership association representing the survey, opinion and marketing research profession.[1] MRA supports: Limiting the growth of the fund and the programs it...