MRA News

  • Jul 22, 2014
    She may only be a freshman U.S. Senator, but is directly challenging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). On July 9, she asked FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez (one of the top 10 government players in consumer privacy in 2014) a series of piercing questions about an FTC complaint against Amazon. The agency formally launched a lawsuit against Amazon the next day for charging parents for app purchases made by their children without consent. Similar legal action against Google remains up in the air. While Fischer’s letter may have forced the FTC’s...
  • Jul 16, 2014
    A recently revealed study by Facebook of its users triggered both legal and ethical concerns about privacy, transparency and respondent consent. A U.S. Senator called for an FTC investigation, which seems likely. What does this incident mean for the survey, opinion and marketing research profession and what do researchers think about it? Researchers ran an A/B experiment with Facebook users (almost 700,000 people) in early 2012, altering the amount of positive and negative posts in users’ newsfeeds to see if it impacted their mood via “...
  • Jul 13, 2014
    The Internet of Things is “a game-changing moment in our relationship with technology and personal data as we stand on the edge of a data explosion from interconnected devices,” according to TRUSTe, which played host to a discussion on July 10 to try to answer an important question: “Can we have privacy and the Internet of Things?” Yen Nguyen, deputy attorney general for the privacy enforcement & protection unit at the California Department of Justice, observed that her state is ahead of others in the regulation this phenomenon. “...
  • Jul 11, 2014
    Is the problem with survey, opinion and marketing research calls to cell phones the amount of calls placed, or the technology used to make the calls? Jason Rooze submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) yesterday, contending that the agency "really needs to consider 'fair use' of auto-dialers. If the only difference between a auto-dailer and manually calling is the possibility of higher call volume, the[n] the TCPA should regulate CALL VOLUME not the TECHNOLOGY used to make the call." In other words, Rooze said, the...
  • Jul 10, 2014
    A small country store just got fined $3,000 for failing to report a data security breach. Vermont Attorney General (AG) Bill Sorrell explained why his office targeted Shelburne Country Store in Shelburne, Vermont. "At this stage of the game, having seen widely reported data breaches at big retailers like Target and dozens of others, we will not accept the excuse that a business did not know of its obligations to report a breach." According to the AG's office, "In late 2013, the company’s website was hacked and credit card information stolen....
  • Jul 1, 2014
    Iowa just nominated a career-marketing researcher for statewide elected office. While Monica Vernon is not the first survey, opinion and marketing researcher to run for high-profile office, victory in November will make her the most prominent one elected in the country. On June 21,2014, Vernon was chosen by Iowa Democrats as their nominee for lieutenant governor, running on a ticket with gubernatorial candidate Jack Hatch. In an interview with the Des Moines Register, Hatch described Vernon as “capable, knowledgeable and competent from the...
  • Jul 1, 2014
    While our friends in the Great White North are busy celebrating Canada Day, a new law there comes into effect that likely requires a sea change in your approach to electronic messaging in and with Canada, whether for survey, opinion and marketing research or for other purposes. If you conduct survey, opinion and marketing research in Canada or with Canadians, do business with Canadians, or even simply host your email on a Canadian server, you’d better pay attention. Violations can result in fines of up to $1 million Canadian per violation for...
  • Jun 23, 2014
    By Josh Wright Is the legal framework underpinning the allowed sharing of data across the Atlantic an anachronism in need of replacement, or is it essential to the economic relationship between the U.S. and European Union (EU)? A panel discussion hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on June 10 asked more specifically if debate over the U.S. EU Safe Harbor for international data transfer is about data protection or data protectionism, and tried to explore how data privacy and data security concerns fit into the...
  • Jun 23, 2014
    By Josh Wright If you make use of any data from European Union (EU) respondents, your compliance with the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor is more important than ever. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is cracking down on companies for violating the Safe Harbor. In fact, the FTC recently penalized 12 large companies, including three NFL teams, for violations of the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework. Those high-profile cases are just a fraction of the over 400 recent actions taken by the FTC against companies for such alleged violations. The FTC can fine...
  • Jun 19, 2014
    MRA delivered the following letter to U.S. Senators today, in advance of floor debate on an amendment that would require the 2020 Census to ask respondents about their immigration status: Dear Honorable Senator, On behalf of the Marketing Research Association (MRA), I urge you to oppose Senator David Vitter (R-LA)’s amendment 3279, which he proposes to offer on the Fiscal Year 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill (H.R. 4660). The amendment would forbid funding for the Census Bureau to conduct the 2020 decennial headcount “...