MRA News

  • Feb 27, 2015
    According to Connecticut Attorney General (AG) George Jepsen, state AGs do more than just defend their states in court; they exercise “very very broad jurisdiction,” as long as they act “in the public interest." That public interest appears to include data security and consumer privacy. On February 23, the International Association of Privacy Professionals brought together a cross-section of privacy regulators to discuss their priorities for the year, how they work together, and how they keep from trampling each other’s jurisdictions. Jepsen...
  • Feb 26, 2015
    Maine might soon require pollsters to disclose the sponsors of telephone research calls, at the opening of the call, which would bias research results and potentially impugn all survey, opinion and marketing research. Current state law (Sec. 1. 21-A MRSA §1014) demands that “prerecorded automated telephone calls” (robocalls) and “scripted live telephone communications that name a clearly identified candidate during the 21 days before a primary election or the 35 days before a general election must clearly state the name of the person who made...
  • Feb 23, 2015
    Although incentives for U.S. physicians to participate in marketing research studies sponsored by pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers are allowed in certain circumstances by the Physician Payments Sunshine Act (passed as part of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, in 2010), the launch of the database tracking and publicizing payments to physicians last year certainly presents a potential impediment to physician respondent cooperation. So MedPanel ran a study late last year using their medical practitioner online panel to see...
  • Feb 23, 2015
    Arizona could be the first state to subject political telephone callers to a do not call list. Legislation moving through the state senate --S.B. 1196, sponsored by Sen. John Kavanagh (R-23) – would establish a political do not call registry for robocalls to state residents. The bill would forbid initiating “an outbound telephone call to a person in this state in an attempt to influence the outcome of an election if: the telephone call includes a prerecorded or artificial voice” and the recipient is on the political do not call list. S.B. 1196...
  • Feb 20, 2015
    Will it make a difference to the policy issues that matter to the survey, opinion and marketing research profession if one of our own is tackling them in Congress? We may soon get another chance to find out. Marketing research professional Monica Vernon is running for Congress in Iowa. The founder of the Vernon Research Group ran for lieutenant governor of the Hawkeye State in 2014 with Democrat gubernatorial candidate Jack Hatch. While her ticket fell more than 20 points short of the incumbent Republicans, Vernon is an experienced Cedar...
  • Feb 18, 2015
    President Barack Obama just called out the European Union for data protectionism. In an interview with re/code, the President discussed a wide range of topics. He admits that “folks are quite keen on talking about government intrusion” into their privacy, then laments that some commercial data collection efforts are also “fairly invasive.” The interviewer points out that “Europe is very strong” on privacy protection and is very busy investigating companies like “Facebook and Google.” That’s when the President takes umbrage with European high-...
  • Feb 18, 2015
    The 2020 Census is not scheduled to ask respondents about their immigration status, but a Senator wants to change that. If he succeeds, it could damage the resulting data from the whole headcount. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) introduced S. 49, legislation which would require the addition of "a question to ascertain United States citizenship and immigration status" to the decennial Census. Asking questions about citizenship and immigration could adversely impact the accuracy of the 2020 Census and America’s ability to know our true population...
  • Feb 18, 2015
    The Internet of Things is exploding the digital world. A report in 2014 from EMC Digital Universe and IDC found the amount of data in the world to be doubling every two years, and expected to reach 44 zettabytes by 2020. “These 'things' unobtrusively gather data and communicate with users, and with other devices, to solve a variety of consumer and business needs,” according to Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD), opening a February 11 hearing on the Internet of Things. “There are some truly fascinating examples of the Internet...
  • Feb 10, 2015
    When your kitchen toaster, car and television set connect to each other and the Internet and produce complex streams of data, you are in the Internet of Things. Approximately six years ago, the number of such “things” connected to the Internet outgrew the number of people. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cites “Internet-connected cameras that allow you to post pictures online with a single click; home automation systems that turn on your front porch light when you leave work; and bracelets that share with your friends how far you have biked...
  • Feb 5, 2015
    Sen. Richard Blumenthal (R-CT) said that “2014 was known as the year of the data breach.” Blumenthal, the ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance and Data Security spoke to open a hearing this morning on federal data security and breach notification legislation. Subcommittee Chairman Jerry Moran (R-KS) also noted that “consumers and companies have called for policy changes in this area” and that the Senators needed to better understand “how to develop a clear and consistent national data...