AMSRO launches new data privacy initiatives

AMSRO aiming for data privacy best practice

Following the almost daily data privacy breaches going on around the world, the Association of Market and Social Research Organisations (AMSRO) has launched new data privacy initiatives. 

This follows AMSRO president, Craig Young, previously telling CMO the recent Google GDPR fine sends a strong message to all companies, both local and global, that if you are using personal information, it needs to be done with consent which is specific and unambiguous, and the explanation of how personal data will be used needs to be comprehensive and transparent. 

“The spotlight is now squarely on how organisations manage and use personal data - from the smallest firms up to the very largest, client organisations and all those who deal in and store data,” Young told CMO after the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal.

“The financial implications for a breach are significant and the reputational damage is potentially catastrophic. The liability that goes with data management should be top of mind for all leaders of organisations.”

With this in mind, AMSRO has now launched a series of best practice privacy training modules on its website for members. These modules provide guidance on complying with Australian Privacy Principles (APP) and the privacy code.

Produced in conjunction with CIE Legal there are five modules in total outlining how to handle privacy breaches (under Australia’s Notifiable Data Breach Scheme), adhering to the APPs and tips for privacy compliance.  

AMSRO will also be releasing the privacy modules on YouTube.

In addition, AMSRO has launched its Information and Data Security Compliance System (IDSCS), designed to be a standalone system but also to introduce and support member organisations with phase one of the ISO 27001 quality assurance audit process. The benefits of AMSRO’s IDSCS system include an industry security risk management system that identifies information and data security risks and develops a system to help manage those risks.   

The announcements were made at the AMSRO annual Leaders Forum 2019, as it continues to aim to pioneer best practice approaches for the responsible use of customer data in research and analytics.

“All companies that collect and use personal data face ever increasing risks associated with the appropriate handling of that data, as evidenced by the recent Google GDPR breach and last year’s Cambridge Analytica scandal. As the peak industry body for the research and data collection industry it is incumbent on AMSRO to support our members with the most up-to-date knowledge and advice on how to manage data privacy and data compliance issues,” Young said. 

“This ensures member organisations are not only aware of their obligations but continue to have a sufficient level of knowledge on how best to comply with legislation, uphold the highest standards and mitigate risk for both the public and clients.” 

AMSRO maintains Australia’s first and only industry privacy code, and an industry Trust Mark, under which all AMSRO members operate.  

“As a $1 billion industry, research, data collection and insights is an important service that benefits all Australians. From political polls and television ratings, to surveys of customer satisfaction and the development of products and services, to studies on public health in Australia, research provides valuable information about the society in which we live. This information helps government, commercial and not-for-profit organisations make informed decisions based upon the interests and needs of their constituents, clients and the general public,” AMSRO executive director, Sarah Campbell, said. 

“It is therefore important AMSRO members lead the field in privacy compliance and protecting both the industry and the millions of Australians who engage in market and social research. This has been demonstrated by the fact that our member organisations have a 15-year record without a single finding of a privacy breach. These new initiatives continue our commitment to ensuring industry best practice.”

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