MRA News

  • 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...
  • 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...