Esomar has underlined how the recent case of Denmark’s TNS Gallup shutting its WebProfil service in response to consumer complaints demonstrated that researchers will need to pay closer attention to consumer sensitivities and legislative developments intended to regulate profiling in 2011.
In 2010, ESOMAR contacted the Council of Europe regarding its proposal to develop a recommendation for the protection of individuals with regard to automatic processing of personal data in the context of profiling. At that time, the Council offered assurances that market, social and opinion research would not be affected, as the sector came under other requirements designed for statistical research.
However, the Council has now turned its attention to reviewing the entire Convention 108 on automatic processing of personal data. This legally binding convention has been in existence since 1981 and is source from which the profiling recommendation draws its principles.
In light of this development, ESOMAR will re-review, in more detail, how market, social and opinion research can maintain the protections already afforded to it.