MRA News

  • Nov 19, 2014
    Amidst massive economic transformation driven by mobile commerce, the Internet of Things, and Big Data, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) “has played the same trusted role: promoting competition and the interests of consumers,” according to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez (D). She spoke in celebration of the FTC’s 100th anniversary, at an all-day workshop in Washington, DC on November 7, with current and former leaders evaluating the agency's abilities and impact. Why the FTC matters so much The FTC has broad authority over much of the American...
  • Nov 17, 2014
    Another election cycle, another opportunity to dissect the performance of political polling. On November 11, the Marketing Research Association Mid-Atlantic Chapter hosted a panel discussion digging into what went right and wrong in the 2014 election polling and what we learned about voters and the Democrat and GOP campaigns. -- Blumenthal's presentation / Boxt's presentation / Hobart's presentation / Moran's presentation -- Mark Blumenthal, senior polling editor for Huffington Post, noted that the National Exit Poll (NEP) found overwhelming...
  • Nov 6, 2014
    Three cheers for marketing researcher Larry Solomon, the newly-elected mayor of Union, Kentucky! Larry was a first-time candidate for elected office, after a long career in the marketing research profession, most recently as president of Strategic Resources Inc. in Union. After earning his MBA, he conducted marketing research for decades at Kimberly Clark, Procter & Gamble, and Valvoline before launching his own firm. Solomon unabashedly cited what he learned running a focus group study for the Union city commission at the beginning of...
  • Nov 5, 2014
    At a recent event hosted by the Identity Theft Resource Center, new-ish FTC Commisioner Terrell McSweeny (D), sworn in at the end of April, got her chance to weigh in on data security policy. The Commissioner applauded President Obama's recent executive order, and the steps that may be taken in the retail sector. However, since "criminals will always adjust," McSweeny said at the Octboer 29 event, "the FTC supports comprehensive data security and breach notification legislation that would create strong and consistent national standards;...
  • Nov 2, 2014
    On October 31, 2014, the Marketing Research Association (MRA) filed comments with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding their recent workshop, "Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion?" According to MRA, "the FTC’s continued focus on the practice of segmentation indicates that a key aspect of research is under misguided scrutiny." The association's comments suggested that "the FTC would do well to articulate the policy changes necessary to combat" specific uses of segmentation for which the agency disapproves, "instead of...
  • Oct 27, 2014
    The mid-term elections for House and Senate are only 11 days away (and many voters have already cast their ballots). What are the stakes for the interests of the survey, opinion and marketing research profession? Change is coming to DC. Many incumbent Congressmen are retiring or are in danger of defeat in their reelection campaigns, and key positions as Chairmen and Ranking Members on House and Senate Committees may be up for grabs. More importantly, while the GOP is all but certain to retain its majority in the House of Representatives (and...
  • Oct 20, 2014
    On October 17, President Barack Obama signed an executive order expanding data security protections for federal government transactions, and inserted the White House into Congressional debates on data security. The executive order, most importantly, requires federal agencies to switch to payment cards using secure chip and PIN technology (and urges the private sector to move that way quickly). The lack of that technology in the U.S. has been highlighted as a key vulnerability facilitating several of the big data security breaches in the past...
  • 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...