By Kim Smouter
A month after it was announced, the formal Commission decision establishing the EU-US Privacy Shield has been released. The European Commission (EC) and the US Department of Commerce (DoC) are both confident that this new agreement will stand the test of the European courts and will facilitate the continued flow of personal data between the EU and US.
ESOMAR, alongside CASRO, EFAMRO, and the MRA have started looking into more detail about what the agreement will actual mean for you and your company. However, it’s important to remember that the procedure is still ongoing, and that key European stakeholders still need to give their agreement before the Shield can come into force. The ambition is for the EU-US Privacy Shield to come into force by summer 2016.
How will the Privacy Shield work in practice?
The requirements of the Privacy Shield, and how one complies to it, will be very similar to that of the old Safe Harbor agreement. Companies will again have to register themselves on a Privacy Shield List and self-certify they meet the requirements set out. This procedure must be renewed every year. The Department of Commerce will maintain the List and will also be responsible for monitoring and verifying the companies signing up.
If a company ceases to be a member of the Privacy Shield, they should still process any personal data received under Privacy Shield according to the Shield’s principles. The Department of Commerce will monitor the compliance of companies with the Privacy Shield principles on an ongoing basis, including through detailed questionnaires.
The agreement will not be limited to EU citizens, but everyone residing in the European Union will be protected under the Privacy Shield agreement.
How will the Privacy Shield be enforced?
One of the objections against the Safe Harbor agreement that led to its invalidation, was the lack of complaints and enforcement mechanisms that Europeans could use. So one of the major changes in the new agreement is the way complaints will be dealt with.
Where it used to be that the FTC was free to decide whether it would investigate infringements of Safe Harbor, in the Privacy Shield an elaborate complaint mechanism is foreseen. This includes a dispute resolution platform that will be set up where individuals can file a complaint when they feel that their rights have been violated. Companies will then have 45 days to solve the complaint. The exact implementation is not yet known. ESOMAR will monitor and report when more is known about this platform and any impact on business operations for the US.
In addition, the role of the European Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) has been increased. EU citizens can go directly to their country’s DPA to file a complaint. They will work together with US authorities to investigate complaints. The DPAs will also play a role in ensuring that every complaint is investigated, representing a much stricter monitoring and enforcement compared to Safe Harbor.
As a last resort, if a case is not resolved by any of the other means, there will be an enforceable arbitration mechanism. Moreover, companies can commit to comply with advice from European DPAs. This is obligatory for companies handling human resource data.
The FTC already indicated the following four areas where it will focus on for its enforcement actions: referral prioritization; false and deceptive Privacy Shield claims; continuous monitoring; and engagement with European data protection authorities.
Privacy Shield principles
The heart and soul of the Shield is formed by its principles. The text outlines seven different principles that have to be met by the subscribing company. As was to be expected, these principles reflect to a large extent the approach the European Union has taken with regards to privacy and data protection.
The careful reader will recognise that the ICC/ESOMAR Code on Market and Social Research covers the majority of these point. For market, social and opinion researchers abiding to the Code will thus already comply with most of the points outlined below. Our sector is thus in an excellent position to successfully subscribe to the program, without disproportional extra effort.
These principles are:
- Notice, organisations are obliged to provide information to data subjects on a number of key elements relating to the processing of their personal data (e.g. type of data collected, purpose of processing, right of access and choice, conditions for onward transfers and liability). Further safeguards apply, in particular the requirement for organisations to make public their privacy policies.
- Choice, data subjects may object (opt out) if their personal data shall be disclosed to a third party (other than an agent acting on behalf of the organisation) or used for a “materially different” purpose. In case of sensitive data, organisations must in principle obtain the data subject’s affirmative express consent (opt in). Moreover, under the Choice Principle, special rules for direct marketing generally allowing for opting out “at any time” from the use of personal data apply.
- Accountability for onward transfer, any onward transfer of personal data from an organisation to controllers or processors can only take place (i) for limited and specified purposes, (ii) on the basis of a contract (or comparable arrangement within a corporate group) and (iii) only if that contract provides the same level of protection as the one guaranteed by the Privacy Principles.
- Security, organisations creating, maintaining, using or disseminating personal data must take “reasonable and appropriate” security measures, taking into account the risks involved in the processing and the nature of the data.
- Data integrity and purpose limitation, personal data must be limited to what is relevant for the purpose of the processing, reliable for its intended use, accurate, complete and current. An organisation may not process personal data in a way that is incompatible with the purpose for which it was originally collected or subsequently authorised by the data subject.
- Access, data subjects have the right, without need for justification and only against a non-excessive fee, to obtain from an organisation confirmation of whether such organisation is processing personal data related to them and have the data communicated within reasonable time. Where personal information is processed solely for research or statistical purposes, access may be denied. The organisations has to justify its motivations for denying the request.
- Recourse, enforcement, and liability, participating organisations must provide robust mechanisms to ensure compliance with the other Privacy Principles and recourse for EU data subjects whose personal data have been processed in a non-compliant manner, including effective remedies.
There’s also a supplemental set of principles that includes provisions around sensitive data, secondary liability, the role of data protection authorities, human resources data, pharmaceutical and medical products, and publicly available data.
What about BCRs and Model Clauses?
Safe Harbor wasn’t the only means to legally transfer personal data to the United States. There’s always been to possibilities for Binding Corporate Rules and Standard Model Contracts. But when the Court ruled Safe Harbor as insufficient for EU-US data transfers, the European DPAs, organised in the Article 29 Working Party (A29WP), made it clear that they will not just assess any new agreement but also take these two measures into account.
Nevertheless, they do still provide a short and medium term solution especially for entities that want space to reflect, without the risk of being dragged into a Privacy Shield regulatory storm. According to the Commission, the data collected under the Privacy Shield agreement will cover these alternatives.
The next steps
The Commission has now submitted the Privacy Shield to data protection authorities. The A29WP will meet in Brussels in April to agree a common position on the privacy shield. This opinion will not be legally binding, but it will be a very strong indication whether the Privacy Shield meets the legal requirements from the perspective of top data protection experts.
EU Member States also are able to issue a binding opinion, but it is not expected to that they will oppose the agreement that is reached as their main concern appears to be to restore the data flows for the sake of the digital economy as quickly as possible.
Progress therefore will likely be driven by economic considerations which could lead us to expect to see privacy shield in action as soon as late Spring 2016 to early Summer 2016.
Kim Smouter is Government Affairs Manager at ESOMAR, #esoGOV #esomar
By Victoria Zagorsky
The journey to market research transformation became the key theme of ESOMAR MENAP Forum 2016. While ESOMAR MENAP 2015 presentations showcased powerful transformational concepts, this year the focus shifted to the applications of innovative practices in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan region. It was a highly practical forum with many interesting examples of innovative research practices being successfully applied in the region. At the same time, it was both an inspirational and insightful event providing a greater understanding of where the market research industry is heading and how to get closer to consumer understanding.
With a net increase of 9.1% in market research spending in 2015, MENAP is now the fastest growing region globally. Within MENAP, GCC countries have witnessed a staggering growth of 75% as compared to 2010. Research market in MENAP is changing as companies begin to embrace digital data collection methods instead of traditional approaches.
Role of Research in VUCA World
The world today can be best described with the acronym VUCA, which stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity.
While the hotel and taxi industries are being disrupted by new entrants such as Airbnb and Uber, technology innovations impact many other areas including how consumers interact with day-to-day products.
Amazon, for instance, allows customers to use its Internet-connected devices to order items with the press of a button. In future, drones will be used to fly packages directly to the doorstep of a shopper in less than 2 hours.
Chef Wendy application talks to Knorr customers providing new recipe ideas and making suggestions based on the ingredients that customers already have. This allows to create a unique profile for each customer, providing valuable insights into individual preferences and dietary requirements as well as the types of ingredients that customers typically have.
What does it mean for market research professionals?
In VUCA world that experiences the ever-accelerating change, we are well placed to play an increasingly more important role helping business leaders understand the future and providing guidance on how to harness the opportunities.
Sanjiv Kakkar of Unilever outlined key strategies for becoming masters rather than victims of VUCA. These include moving from insight to foresight, taking intelligent risks, becoming more agile, harnessing technology to drive business growth and building purposeful brands. Sanjiv believes that we need faster and cheaper research techniques that are able to build scenarios based on the limited data.
Research Applications in VUCA markets: Egypt and Iraq
Interesting case studies were presented to showcase the use of the state-of-the-art research methods in Egypt and Iraq, two high potential markets of the region.
In Egypt, Unilever and AWE Research conducted a comprehensive research study to uncover how consumers cope with the financial implications of the economic crisis. A number of methodologies were employed including ethnography, focus group interviews and a quantitative survey using a nationally representative sample.
The study identified two distinct groups among Egyptian consumers – The Republic of the Gatekeepers and the Youth Empire.
- Gatekeepers live in the world of shattered dreams and abandoned aspirations. They struggle to survive and juggle between priorities to address family needs. Their spending behavior is largely governed by security and survival.
- In Youth Empire, on the other hand, the focus is on “Me, Myselfie and I”, while the spending behavior is driven by pleasure, enjoyment and status.
It is critical for marketers to understand the needs of each group and to tailor communication strategies accordingly.
“The lipstick effect” is another very interesting insight that the study uncovered. In view of the economic challenges, gatekeepers in Egypt gave up on all big dreams. They no longer consider upgrading their lifestyles or buying more expensive houses and cars. Some of them even gave up on summer holidays. But even though they cannot afford expensive luxury goods, they increasingly need affordable simple pleasures, which translates into new opportunities for FMCG companies in Egypt.
In Iraq, the challenge that Pharma Business Partners and Iraq Market Research Initiative faced, was to understand the healthcare market and to estimate an opportunity for private medical insurance companies.
With the population of 36 million people, and a growing consumption rate, Iraq offers a great potential to international businesses.
For the market sizing exercise, a number of data collection methods including intercept interviews and online survey were employed.
Intercept interviews: Due to cultural / religious norms, it may not be possible to conduct a face-to-face survey with female respondents. As a result, with intercept interviews, female consumers ended up being underrepresented.
Online research: According to the official data, the Internet penetration in Iraq is currently less than 10%. This explains the tendency of companies to avoid using online data collection methods in Iraq. However, the actual Internet penetration appears to be substantially higher, and online research methods can be used effectively.
In addition to exploring new research methods in Iraq, Walid ElAsmar of Iraq Market Research Initiative, recommends companies not to consider Iraq as a single market, but rather as a collection of multiple markets. Marketers tends to see Kurdistan as a different market while treating the remaining regions as homogeneous. However, regions vary in terms of retail landscape, supply chains, consumer habits and other characteristics, and require different approaches.
Innovative Data Collection Methods – WhatsApp Messaging Service
Companies in the Middle East increasingly embrace digital methods, and leveraging WhatsApp messenger for data collection became one of the forum’s highlights. There were two research agencies – Feedback Market Research and AMRB – that presented their case studies showcasing how they successfully used WhatsApp for data collection.
WhatsApp, the popular messaging service, is now the leading social media platform in a number of markets across Middle East, including Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE. According to TNS research, WhatsApp is the preferred social media channel for 41% of social media users in the region.
When AMRB was presented with a challenge to help their client achieve greater revenue in the snacking category in Saudi Arabia, they decided to leverage WhatsApp as a data collection approach. The goal was to enable consumers to become photographic chroniclers sharing real-time insights into their eating habits and preferences.
Some of the characteristics that made WhatsApp a preferred platform for this qualitative market research exercise are:
- Familiarity and ease of use.
Saudi Arabia ranks 14th in terms of WhatsApp users globally. WhatsApp is top preferred social network among 42% Saudi consumers, and 97% use it on a daily basis.
- Ability to generate rich insights.
WhatsApp allows consumers to share text, emoticons, photographs, audio and video. In this research study, consumers provided detailed information in relation to the eating occasions including time and date, who they were with and photographs.
- Unbiased results.
Due to the cultural norms in the Middle East, it can be difficult for a consumer to voice a different or unpopular opinion in a focus group setting, whereas with WhatsApp approach one-on-one interactions with consumers can take place.
- Accurate data.
It can be difficult for consumers to accurately recall details of the eating occasions during the past week, but with WhatsApp approach, they are in position to share the real-time information.
Studies using WhatsApp as a data collection approach delivered rich insights that could not be possible to obtain using traditional methods. Market research professionals should continue to explore the potential of this data collection approach and to embrace other innovative digital methods.
Future of Market Research
How can market research industry continue to create value?
It is critical to move away from the role of data providers. Data is becoming a commodity, and as Paris Arnold of Spark Consulting highlighted, clients have access to larger volumes of data, however they face challenges in managing / integrating data and ultimately generating insights from it. Despite facing competition from technology providers, insight professionals have expertise and skills needed to take the lead in this area.
While we should master our ability to translate data into insights, we should remember that in today’s VUCA world clients become increasingly more interested in foresight, and helping them predict what the future will look like in 3-5 years will enable us to deliver greater value and to stay relevant.
Companies also increasingly require partners that can provide guidance on how to achieve growth, as Jaikumar Menon of McDonalds Corporation pointed out.
In VUCA world, market research professionals are well placed to play a more crucial role by becoming business partners for achieving growth and delivering foresight to drive new market and business opportunities.
Victoria Zagorsky is General Manager at Insight Enterprises and Editor at Insights MEA and Insight World.
By Michalis A. Michael
Whenever something unexpected happens in life, some of us pause, we look up and we try to figure it out. Especially if you are curious – like good researchers are supposed to be – discovering a paradox can lead to a hypothesis and looking to prove it can be real fun. When we came across the Coca-Cola Superbowl ad paradox, we investigated and analysed it to death. We then started thinking about similar cases that may support our hypothesis i.e negativity brought out by a relative minority, under certain circumstances, may have a positive effect through awakening the majority.
On February 2nd 2014 (the day of the Superbowl ), Coca-Cola aired an ad where people of various ethnicities were singing ‘America the Beautiful’ in their own language. Immediately after the airing of the ad, all hell broke loose on Twitter and other social media platforms; this continued for the following days and weeks.
According to DigitalMR’s findings, during the 8 days prior to the Superbowl there were 139,997 posts about Coca-Cola in the English language: 22% Negative, 7% Positive, and 71% Neutral; during the 8 days following the airing of the ad, the number increased by 169% to 376,382 posts. The interesting finding here is that although the number of posts increased by 169% after the campaign airing, the amount of negative posts still accounted for 22% of the total while positive posts jumped to 51%.
The number of neutral comments is the same before and after at ~100,000; the only difference is its share had dropped to 1/3 of what it was, from 71% to 27%.
What we discovered had actually happened was almost unbelievable, at least for it to have occurred organically; apparently, the initial negative reaction from some consumers had the opposite effect than what they were trying to achieve. Instead of influencing others in preventing them from buying Coca-Cola products and encouraging them to go against the company, they managed to “wake up” many passive consumers that watched the Coca-Cola ad to come to its defense.
Reading through a large number of posts, we saw that although many were assigned a negative sentiment by the listening247 algorithms, they were not negative towards Coca-Cola or the ad, but rather towards the posts attacking the ad and by extension, the brand.
These people not only defended the message behind the brand’s multilingual ad celebrating diversity, they went as far as to directly attack the negative and often racist comments and the people behind them. Through this process of manually going through posts, we identified a new sentiment: the double negative, or indirectly positive.
You see, just like in mathematics, in our view the double negative can be considered as positive. Once we identified the posts that were directly positive about the campaign, as well as the posts that were negative towards the negative comments i.e. the comments attacking the racists and thus defending Coca-Cola (indirectly positive), the results were totally different. The “neg-neg” plus the positive accounted for the largest percentage of posts in total.
As you can see, the directly and indirectly positive posts are overtaking the negative and neutral ones, especially on blogs.
Good social media listening tools can help a brand investigate the market and understand its needs and beliefs in order to predict the negative and double negative reactions, and avoid unwanted social media situations.
Now is not the time for organisations to be asking themselves whether they should be monitoring and analysing social media, the right questions should be: “who should be the owner of Social Analytics, do we currently have someone with the right skill-set, what tools should we be using, and how can we help elevate it to the higher executive levels in order to ensure success?”.
Michalis A. Michael & Sophia Papagregoriou (2014) The Positive Effect of Negativity [Online] Available at: http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hub/186045/file-1371807469-pdf/docs/DigitalMR_The_Positive_Effect_of_Negativity_v0.pdf
Tingting Zhang discusses how a recent ESOMAR event at the Cranfield School of Management changed her view of the research industry.