We only use your personal information for research purposes.
Laws and codes we adhere to
Susan Bell Research respects and upholds your rights under the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act 1988.
All our consultants and subcontractors are members of the Research Society or similar international body and are therefore bound by the professional code of conduct which also protects respondent privacy.
The purpose of this policy
What contact information about you do we collect and hold?
For the purposes of our research we either collect or have been given contact information such as your email address and personal information such as your name, date of birth, or occupation. We do not supply or transfer any of your contact details to anyone who would use that information for non-research purposes. The only instances in which we do transfer your contact information are to organizations who are working with us as subcontractors who need that information to conduct the research and have signed confidentiality agreements. These subcontractors are bound by the same or similar privacy laws and codes as we are. You can ask us the identity of these subcontractors. In many cases, we will have received your contact details from a third party, such as an organisation of which you are a customer, or through another market research agency such as a recruitment agency. We will tell you where we received the information from.
What personal information do we collect and hold?
When we talk to you, we find out about your personal opinions and experiences with the services, products or brands we are researching. Before our clients see any of this information, we will have de-identified it (i.e. removed your name and any other contact details). Usually, clients only have access to this information in an aggregated report. Occasionally they will have access to de-identified transcripts. You can ask us about this if it concerns you. Sometimes, we supply audio or video recordings of our interviews to another research agency so they can transcribe the interview. These transcribers have signed confidentiality agreements with us requiring them to treat the recordings the same as we would. These recordings do not include your contact information. They are only ever used for research purposes. Our clients have agreed to this. Ask us about this if you are concerned.
What personal information do we share with our client?
In general, we do not supply identified information about you to our client or their associated agencies. However, our clients and sometimes agencies they are associated with may view or listen to interviews or group discussions that we conduct. Sometimes also our clients like to have access to our recordings. They will only ever be allowed to listen or view if they can assure us that they will only use the information for research purposes. They will never be given your contact information.
The identity of the client
We will tell you the identity of the client by the end of the interview or group discussion, unless there are significant legal reasons not do so. We (or agencies working on our behalf) will have informed you of our intentions to record or allow viewing when we made the appointment for interview, so that you could make an informed decision whether to take part or not. Please also read any related emails or 'sign in' sheets carefully.
Using a pseudonym or choosing to be anonymous
When you provide personal information to us, you can choose to use a pseudonym to be identified by. That means on any recordings we have you would be identified by your pseudonym. Please note though that you may have already supplied your contact details to us.
What sensitive information about you do we collect and hold?
Depending on the nature of the research we conduct, we may also collect sensitive information from you, such as information about your health, ethnicity, or political views. We only collect sensitive information with your prior consent and only if it is directly related to or reasonably necessary for the research we conduct. You always have the right not to answer such questions.
We use and disclose this information as we do for your personal information.
Why do we use, handle and/or disclose your personal information?
Disclosing your information to overseas countries
If you take part in an online qualitative research group or forum with us, we may pass on contact information to an overseas software provider who will then send an invitation to you to respond. That provider may also have access to the discussion, for the purposes of technical assistance. We will tell you the name of the software provider we are using when we invite you to take part in the research. Our usual provider is based in the UK and is subject to the same kind of Privacy Laws as we are in Australia.
We sometimes work for overseas-based clients or agencies who may wish to watch face to face group discussions or home visits on video. Written into the contract with our client will be the statement that any information they receive must be protected according to Australian Privacy Law, and must only be used for research purposes. If this occurs, we will inform you when we invite you to take part in the research. If you are uncomfortable with this, do not take part in the research. We will ask for your express consent.
Destruction of identified data
We will destroy or de-identify your personal information as soon as practicable once it is longer needed for the purpose for our research. However, we may in certain circumstances be required by law to retain your personal information after our research has been completed. In this case your personal information will continue to be protected in accordance with this Policy. If we destroy personal information we will do so by taking reasonable steps and using up-to-date techniques and processes.
Your right to access
You have the right to request access to any personal information we hold about you. You can request this information by contacting Susan Bell (our Privacy Officer) by email. Where we hold information that you are entitled to access, we will respond to your request in a reasonable time and endeavor to provide you with a suitable range of choices as to how access is provided (eg, emailing or mailing it to you). We may charge a fee to cover the cost of retrieval at cost. If at any time you believe that personal information we hold about you is incorrect, incomplete or inaccurate, then you may ask us to update it and we will either update the information or make a record of your comment, as we think appropriate.
Questions and complaints
We will respond and advise whether we agree with your complaint or not. If we do not agree, we will provide reasons. If we do agree, we will advise what (if any) action we consider it appropriate to take in response. If you are still not satisfied after having contacted us and given us a reasonable time to respond, then we suggest that you contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner by:
Phone: 1300 363 992 (local call cost, but calls from mobile and pay phones may incur higher charges). If calling from overseas (including Norfolk Island): +61 2 9284 9749
TTY: 1800 620 241 (this number is dedicated to the hearing impaired only, no voice calls)
TIS: Translating and Interpreting Service: 131 450 (If you don’t speak English or English is your second language and you need assistance and ask for the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner)
Post: GPO Box 2999 Canberra ACT 2601Fax: +61 2 9284 9666
Security of information
We will take reasonable steps to protect your personally identifiable information and to protect such information from loss, misuse, and unauthorised access, use, modification, disclosure, alteration, or destruction. However, you should keep in mind that the transmission of information over the Internet is not completely secure or error-free. In particular, e-mail sent to or from this website may not be secure, and you should therefore take special care in deciding what information you send to us via e-mail. However, you should keep in mind that the transmission of information over the Internet is not completely secure or error-free.