Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

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.

Purpose of this policy

This Privacy Policy lets you know what personal information of yours we hold, what we do with it, who we will disclose it to and how you can access the personal information we hold about you. You can also find out how to change inaccurate personal information that we hold.

If we know your name and email address or phone number because you are taking part in research directly with us

  • We may share your contact information to organisations who are working with us as subcontractors who need that information to conduct the research and have signed confidentiality agreements with us. 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.
  • We may 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.
  • We do not supply or transfer any of the information you give us in the research survey or interview with anyone who would use that information for non-research purposes.

De-identified information

When we talk to you, we find out about your personal opinions and experiences with the services,  products or brands we are researching.

IWe give our clients an aggregated report only – it will not identify individuals.

Occasionally clients will also have access to de-identified transcripts.

Sometimes, we supply audio 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.

Viewing or listening to ‘live’ interviews or discussions

Our clients and sometimes agencies they are associated with may view or listen to interviews or group discussions that we conduct. We will have asked your persmission about this beforehand and given you the right to withdraw from the research. Please also read any related emails or ‘sign in’ sheets carefully.

Viewing or listening to recorded interviews or discussions

Sometimes, clients ask to watch or listen to recordings of the interviews or discussions we have conducted for them. These recordings may include the name of the person being interviewed but no contact information. Our clients are only ever allowed to listen or view if they can assure us that they will only use the  information for research purposes.

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.

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.

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?

For most projects, we do not disclose your personal information to any one outside this agency.  However, there are occasions when we do.  For example, we may pass on a contact list to subcontracted research agencies to help us with the project. They are members of the Research Society (or similar organisation eg MRS) and/or have signed confidentiality agreements with us. We will only use and disclose your personal information for the purpose of conducting our research and in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

We will not use or disclose your personally identifiable information for the purpose of advertising, promotions or direct marketing activities. In our written reports and presentations, we will only report the information you provide in an aggregate form that will not personally identify you.

We will not disclose any personal information or personally identifiable research information to a third party for a purpose other than conducting our research unless we have your express prior consent or are required to do so by an Australian law or court/tribunal order.

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. .

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 endeavour 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

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy or believe that we have at any time failed to keep one of our commitments to you to handle your personal information in the manner required by the Privacy Act, the APPs or the Research Society Code, then we ask that you contact us immediately by email.

Privacy Officer (Susan Bell)

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.


In this policy “personal information” has the same meaning as under the Privacy Act.  We may change this policy from time to time. Although we intend to observe this Privacy Policy at all times, it is not legally binding on us in any way. From time to time we may regard it as necessary or desirable to act outside the policy.  We may do so, subject only to any other applicable contractual rights you have and any statutory rights you have under the Privacy Act or other applicable legislation.

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