MRA News

  • 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...
  • Sep 10, 2014
    The decennial Census and the American Community Survey (ACS) need increased investment for critical testing as we begin to ramp up to the 2020 headcount. Instead, as Census Project co-director Terri Ann Lowenthal puts it, Congress is preparing to "ramp down." Congress will likely pass a short-term "continuing resolution" in the next week to fund the federal government until December 11. Instead of continuing funding at the exact same level as the prior fiscal year, it would fund fiscal year 2015 at .05 percent less. Despite lobbying by MRA and...
  • Sep 10, 2014
    Fresh off yesterday's news about an MRA member running for mayor of Nashville, Tennessee, comes word that another career marketing researcher is campaigning for mayor of Union, Kentucky. Bob Lederer reports that Larry King Solomon has thrown his hat in the ring to be mayor of this small city outside of Cincinnati. Solomon is a first-time candidate for elected office (but so is his opponent). Solomon is president of Strategic Resources Inc. in Union. After earning his MBA, he conducted marketing research for decades at Kimberly Clark, Procter...
  • Sep 8, 2014
    The CEO of a marketing research company is running for mayor of Nashville. Linda Rebrovick, CEO of research firm Consensus Point in Nashville, Tennessee, recently announced her bid. She is a member of the Marketing Research Association. I've previously lamented the small number of survey, opinion and marketing researchers who run for elected office, so this latest announcement is more than welcome. Rebrovick has extensive experience outside of research as well. She previously served as Vice President of Dell Healthcare Sales, Executive Vice...
  • Aug 27, 2014
    At a Technology Policy Institute conference in Colorado in August, Politico interviewed two FTC commissioners about data security and privacy issues of concern to survey, opinion and marketing researchers. Asked about data security bills in Congress, FTC Commissioner Julie Brill said she had thought that the rash of high-profile security breaches early in the year and the rising costs of breaches “would help make the issue rise to the top.” However, the multiple bills in the House and Senate (S. 1927, S. 1897, S. 1976, S. 1995, S. 1193, H.R....
  • Aug 27, 2014
    The Sunshine State has tightened the screws on data security. Governor Rick Scott (R) signed the Florida Information Protection Act (FIPA) (S.B. 1524, Chapter No. 2014-189) into law on June 20. It took effect on July 1. FIPA covers any entity that acquires, maintains, stores, or uses personal information. The most important changes to the prior law (Section 817.5681, Florida Statutes) include: the shortening of the notification requirements from within 45 days to within a mere 30 days (only a few states have specific timelines for...
  • Aug 22, 2014
    On July 15, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman released a report on data breaches in the Empire State, showing that the number of reported data security breaches in New York more than tripled between 2006 and 2013, including exposure of nearly 23 million personal records. His report also offered some useful pointers for any data-dependent businesses (since almost all have some interaction with New Yorkers or base in the state): Understand what data your company needs to operate, what data you already have, how long you may need to...
  • Aug 22, 2014
    An out-of-state company recently got in hot water in Massachusetts for being too slow to figure out they had suffered a data security breach. Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island agreed to pay $150,000 for a security breach of more than 12,000 Massachusetts patients, as part of a July 23 consent agreement with the Massachusetts Attorney General (AG). The breached information, considered a violation of both Massachusetts state law and federal healthcare privacy and security law (HIPAA), “included patients’ names, dates of birth, Social...
  • Aug 22, 2014
    The Hawkeye State recently updated their data security breach notification law (Iowa Code § Chapter 751C) to require that the Iowa Attorney General’s office receive notification of a breach, expand the definition of a breach to include paper records derived from digital ones, and clarify that encrypted or redacted data still qualifies as personal information covered by the law if it could be reidentified using other information that has been breached. Governor Terry Branstad (R) signed S.F. 2259 into law on April 3. It came into effect on...