Communications for Research (CFR) is a US based market research company that is committed to complying with both US and international data protection laws, regulations, and rules. Communications for Research started in 1997 as a market research data collection company. The majority of our studies have been agricultural in nature.
This privacy and data protection policy applies to our data collection operations via our website, social media, phone, video conferencing, and email research campaigns. Our practices are based upon principles and guidelines laid out in ICC/ESOMAR as well as regulations listed in GDPR, PIPEDA, and CalOPPA.
CFR conducts data collection over several modes of communication and depends on real individuals (respondents) to give honest feedback and personally identifiable information (PII) to meet our research goals. Therefore, we take our responsibilities to data security very seriously. We also realize that we must consider the diverse rights to privacy of our respondents, whether they be in the US or abroad.
Please read this policy carefully. By continuing to use our website, participate in our research, or join our community of respondents, you are agreeing to the terms of this policy. After reviewing this policy, if you do not agree with the terms herein, please do not provide us with your personal information or participate in our studies.
CFR respects your privacy. Therefore, all information collected by Communications for Research regarding your data while visiting our website (“Site”) or interacting with the systems we use in the course of our research, is explained below.
Market, opinion, and social research is an information gathering and analytical activity distinct from marketing and advertising. The following Principles define the research industry and support its unique and critical separation from the societies, industries, and economies that it serves. These research principles are national and universal, allowing CASRO and other national associations to ensure that research is (a) not confused with, (b) subsumed under, or (c) manipulated by other professions, industries, or activities.
- Research organizations shall ensure that participation in research is voluntary and based on informed consent.
- Research organizations shall respect the rights and wellbeing of individuals who participate in research, and shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure that individuals are not harmed or disadvantaged as a result of their participation in research.
- Research organizations shall make all reasonable efforts to protect the privacy of research participants and to keep personal information confidential and secure.
- Research organizations shall be honest, transparent, and straightforward in their professional and business relationships.
- Research organizations shall conduct research based on a consistent commitment to integrity, objectivity, and quality.
- Research organizations shall exercise independent and professional judgment in the design, conduct, documenting, and reporting of their research projects and activities.
- Research organizations shall ensure that research is conducted by persons with appropriate training, qualifications, and experience.
- Research organizations shall comply with all applicable national and international laws and regulations.
Definition of Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
In the course of our research, CFR will inevitably collect personally identifiable information (PII). In many of our studies, the collection of PII and other demographic information of our respondents is essential for our research goals, so we treat this data with the required care it demands. Communications for Research classifies PII to be the following:
- First and last names
- Physical addresses
- Email addresses
- Telephone numbers
- Social Security numbers
- Any other contact information, both physical or online
- Details of physical appearance (height, weight, hair color)
- Any other information stored online that may identify an individual
The unique characteristics of online and mobile research require specific notice that the principle of participant privacy applies to these research methodologies. The general principle guiding this section of the Code is that research organizations will not use unsolicited emails or text messages to recruit research participants or engage in surreptitious data collection methods.
- Email and Text Message Permissions
- Research organizations are required to verify that individuals contacted for research by email or text message have a reasonable expectation that they will receive email or text message contact for research. Such agreement can be assumed when ALL of the following conditions exist:
- A substantive pre-existing relationship exists between the individuals contacted and the research organization, the client supplying email addresses or mobile phone numbers, or the sample providers supplying the email addresses or mobile phone numbers (the latter being so identified or linked to by the email invitation or text message).
- Potential research participants who are sent email invitations or text message invitations have a reasonable expectation, based on a pre-existing relationship where email or text message invitees have specifically opted-in for online or mobile research with the research organization or sample provider, or in the case of client-supplied lists that they may be contacted for research and they have not opted-out of email or text message communications.
- Email and Text Message Unsubscribe
- Email invitations on text message invitations to potential research participants clearly communicate or link to the name of the sample provider, the relationship of the individual to that provider, and clearly offer the choice to be removed from future email or text message contact.
- The email sample or mobile phone number list excludes all individuals who have previously requested removal from future email or text message contact in an appropriate and timely manner.
- Email and Text Message Guiding Principles
- Participants in the email mobile phone sample were not recruited via unsolicited email or text message invitations.
- Research organizations are prohibited from using any subterfuge in obtaining email addresses or mobile phone numbers of potential participants, such as collecting email addresses or mobile phone numbers from public domains, using technologies or techniques to collect email addresses or mobile phone numbers without individuals’ awareness, and collecting email addresses or mobile phone numbers under the guise of some other activity.
- Research organizations are prohibited from using false or misleading return email addresses or any other false and misleading information when recruiting participants. As stated previously in this Code, research organizations must comply with all federal regulations that govern market, opinion, and social research activities. In addition, research organizations should use their best efforts to comply with other federal regulations that govern unsolicited email and text message contacts, even though they do not apply to research.
- When receiving email lists or mobile telephone lists from clients or sample providers, research organizations are required to have the client or sample provider verify that individuals listed have a reasonable expectation that they will receive email contact or text message, as defined, in (a.) above.
- Information about the Code of Standards and Ethics should be made available to participants.
- Email and Text Message 3rd Party Policies
- The practice of “blind studies” (for sample sources where the sponsor of the study is not cited or linked to in the email solicitation or text message) is permitted if disclosure is offered to the participant during or after the interview. The participant must also be offered the opportunity to “opt-out” of this research project and also, if so requested, from the sample source list.
- Other messaging technologies such as mobile application (mobile app) notifications can have characteristics and capabilities that are similar to text messages. Accordingly, when using messaging technologies such as mobile app notifications for research, research organizations must comply with any applicable requirements of this section.
How we collect your PII
Communications for Research conducts studies and collects data over various platforms: including online surveys, telephone interviews, and online video conferencing. We recruit respondents through our website, email, phone, and social media campaigns.
CFR also receives PII via 3rd parties. For instance, it is common that we receive PII from our clients in the form of “sample” records of prospective respondents. We also receive email analytics and IP addresses from some of the digital platforms we use, which can be considered PII. CFR observes strict rules geared towards upholding data security when collecting PII.
How we use your PII
CFR uses your PII strictly for research purposes, whether it be for reporting demographic related variances in data or for identifying qualified respondents for targeted studies. Communications for Research will never sell your information for marketing purposes. Our database of respondent contacts is used only in that research which we conduct ourselves or studies we partner in with trusted clients.
CFR tracks certain email analytics such as open rates, clicks, and bounces in order to improve our engagement rates and avoid over-saturating respondents email inboxes.
CFR may use PII to identify duplicate or fraudulent respondents in order to ensure the integrity of our research. Communications for research does not tolerate fraudulent respondents in order to ensure the integrity of our research results. Therefore, we will make use of PII to identify those individuals who try to cheat or provide false responses.
Non-US Data Collection
Communications for Research conducts research with respondents outside the US, so we have incorporated regulations from the GDPR (EU) and PIPEDA (Canada) to respect the rights of those individuals who participate in our studies.
Your Right to Access
Respondents should have the right to know and obtain communication in regard to their personal data. Respondents can request a description on how their information is used and processed in our research. Respondents shall be able to obtain this information in a reasonable time after receipt of their request.
Your Right to Rectification and Erasure
Respondents should have the right to have personal data concerning him or her rectified and a ‘right to be forgotten’. In particular, a respondent should have the right to have his or her personal data erased and no longer processed where the personal data are no longer necessary to our research purposes, where a respondent has withdrawn his or her consent, or objects to the processing of personal data concerning him or her.
However, Communications for Research reserves the right to retain a respondent’s personal data where it is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation or for archiving, research and statistical purposes.
Third Party Systems
Note that Communications for Research has no access to or control over these cookies that are used by third-party advertisers.
Third Party Policies
You can choose to disable cookies through your individual browser options. To know more detailed information about cookie management with specific web browsers, it can be found at the browsers’ respective websites.
Another part of our priority is adding protection for children while using the internet. We encourage parents and guardians to observe, participate in, and/or monitor and guide their online activity.
Communications for Research does not knowingly collect any Personal Identifiable Information from children under the age of 13. Conducting research with children and young people includes the requirement for research organizations to protect their privacy and interests, as well as to respect and adhere to the wishes of their parents or guardians. This requirement becomes increasingly critical the younger the child and the more sensitive the subject matter. In addition, the laws governing interviewing children and the age at which children become young people and then adults varies from country to country and, sometimes within countries, from state to state. In the U.S., the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) requires verifiable parental or the legal guardian’s consent for interviewing children below the age of 13 years. Consequently, prior to conducting a research project with children or young people, research organizations should (i) identify and comply with any applicable laws and (ii) consult with their legal counsel.
Communications for Research follows a standard procedure of using log files. These files log visitors when they visit websites. All hosting companies do this and a part of hosting services’ analytics. The information collected by log files include:
Internet Protocol (IP) addresses
Browser type, Internet Service Provider (ISP)
Date and Time Stamp, Referring/Exit pages
The Principles of Market, Opinion, and Social Research
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