TORONTO, April 10, 2018 /CNW/ - As Mark Zuckerberg begins two days of answering questions by law-makers in the United States about whether Facebook is doing enough to protect users' privacy, Canada's Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA) issued an urgent call today to members and non-members alike to double down on protecting the personal data they collect for business and other purposes.
"While our members and their market and opinion research companies are distinctly different from the likes of Facebook and other big data companies, this is a reminder and lesson to all that protecting our respondent and client information is our fundamental currency of trust and our ultimate enabler to operate in the marketplace," said MRIA Chair Mark Wood.
"When Cambridge Analytica gets access to the personal information of over 620,000 Canadian Facebook subscribers in the way that they did and what they used it for, the fall-out affects every business or entity anywhere that uses any form of consumer-citizen information," he said.
While Facebook and Cambridge Analytica are not members of the MRIA, Mr. Wood urged all companies—whether MIRA members or not—to adopt rigorous standards like the MRIA Member Code of Conduct which emphasizes privacy vigilance, professional responsibility, transparency, and data protection for the market research and intelligence industry. If members don't adhere to these standards they can be dismissed.
"Privacy protection and transparency of information use has never been more important than it is today—and it's only going to have more intense scrutiny going forward," he said. "Because it affects us all in this sector, those anywhere who deliberately or carelessly breach the inherent consumer-citizen covenant should realize a real and significant consequence from those who have placed their trust in them from the outset."
The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA) is a Canadian not-for-profit association representing all aspects of the market intelligence and survey research industry, including social research, competitive intelligence, data mining, insight, and knowledge management. Members include over 1,800 practitioners, small to large research houses, and the many buyers of research services, such as financial institutions, major retailers, insurance companies and manufacturers. The industry accounts for almost three quarters of a billion dollars in market research activities annually.
Founded on November 21, 2004 after the membership of the three Canadian associations representing the industry voted overwhelmingly in favour of merging, it presents a unified voice for the industry; it pulls together all of the products and services formerly offered to the public and the respective members of the now dissolved Canadian Association of Market Research Organizations (CAMRO), the Canadian Survey Research Council (CSRC) and the Professional Marketing Research Society (PMRS).
SOURCE Marketing Research and Intelligence Association
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