The Association of Market and Social Research Organisations (AMSRO) has launched an online directory for its Trust Mark in the wake of a significant amendment to the Privacy Act regarding data breaches.
The directory helps to guide companies seeking market and social research to choose a research company that protects its reputation and minimises risk, and only includes providers that are certified to AMSRO’s Trust Mark.
The Privacy Act has been amended to include a Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme, which requires private and public entities with an annual turnover of $3 million or more to notify individuals likely to be at risk of ‘serious harm’ by a data breach.
The amendment has been introduced to improve transparency in reporting procedures and reinforce privacy obligations by companies working with personal information.
A data breach occurs when personal information held by an organisation is lost or subjected to unauthorised access or disclosure.
The scheme also toughens up privacy obligations of companies working with personal information with fines of up to $1.7 million for a privacy breach.
AMSRO president Craig Young said: “Data breaches are now happening on a daily basis around the world, and it’s incumbent on the industry to continue to provide the highest level of protection to companies using research services and, in turn, to consumers.
“The AMSRO Trust Mark is a seal of endorsement and assures business and government organisations they are buying research that is quality-tested and meets not only ethical standards, but also goes over and above minimal privacy legislation.
“As managers or owners of research businesses, we also need to minimise our own corporate risk.”
The AMSRO first launched the Trust Mark in 2014 to coincide with the introduction of the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) and the redevelopment of AMSRO’s own Privacy Code.
There are three Trust Mark criteria:
- Privacy: Trust Mark members must operate under AMSRO’s Privacy (market and social research) Code. This code is the first, and only, industry APP Privacy Code registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments, and is adjudicated by the Australian Information Commissioner.
- Quality: Trust Mark members comply with the International Standard for Market, Opinion and Social Research certification (ISO 20252 or ISO 26363). Members are required to undergo an independent annual audit.
- Ethics: Trust Mark members abide with the Industry Code of Professional Behaviour.