Research regulation and guidelines are being updated. GRBN and ESOMAR have been cooperating since the inception of the former on international ethical standards in order to develop the applicability of the ICC/ESOMAR Code as a global standard and asset of our industry. Nowadays, we are developing and publishing the Guidelines that complement the new version of the Code that was launched in January 2017. Some of the guidelines are generic and principles based and apply across methodologies and practices, such as the ‘Duty of Care’ and the ‘Research with Children and Young, and other Vulnerable People’. Other guidelines are specific to a certain methodology, such as the ‘Online Research Guideline’ and the ‘Mobile Research Guideline’.
To develop a guideline ESOMAR’s Professional Standards Committee (PSC), in agreement with GRBN, establishes a project team of experts and practitioners on the subject. After a first draft is ready it will be tabled at ESOMAR’s PSC meeting and Legal Affairs Committee meeting. After review from the committees, it will then be sent to ESOMAR and GRBN members for consultation. After consultation period, comments will be discussed by the project team and incorporated in a new final draft. When the draft is agreed, the guideline will be launched.
GUIDELINES LAUNCHED IN 2017
GRBN and ESOMAR have been working on the following guidelines in 2017 recently released.
ESOMAR/GRBN Mobile Research Guideline
This guideline aligns global policies with developing regulations and technology and the latest international developments for best practice in this area. Mobile research is a rapidly evolving field and a growing market that accounts for $1.8bn global annual turnover and is widely used in advanced as well as developing economies. You can access the guideline from here.
ESOMAR Data Protection Checklist
The Checklist was slightly updated with one extra question to get it aligned with the new ICC/ESOMAR Code; a full revision will be made next year after e-privacy and other regulation initiatives will be available. The checklist translates data privacy regulations into everyday terms used by researchers to guide them on their responsibilities within a global data protection framework and helps them identify if there are gaps in their company’s privacy protections.
GUIDELINES READY FOR CONSULTATION
A first draft for the following guidelines is ready for consultation. It will be sent to all ESOMAR members, GRBN members and all other relevant stakeholders for review and comments.
ESOMAR/GRBN Guideline on the Duty of Care
This guideline helps researchers to distinguish market research from other non-research activities and it deals with how to prevent harm to individuals participating in research projects. The aim of this guideline is to ensure that regulators and the general public keep their confidence in research and to ensure that they do not confuse research with profiling or tracking for other purposes.
ESOMAR/GRBN Guideline on Research with Children and Young People
This guideline sets the ethical international standards when involving children, young people and vulnerable people in research. Its principal focus is the ethical and legal issues involved, rather than the technical problems of such research. Thus, respect to the welfare of individual data subjects is the overriding consideration.
GUIDELINES IN PROGRESS OR NEXT UP TO BE UPDATED
ESOMAR/GRBN GUIDANCE ON SECONDARY DATA
It is still not fully clear what main issues researchers are facing when working with data from various sources, including data collected for other purposes but then used in big data research project. To establish what kind of guidance would be most relevant to the industry a discussion paper was drafted, which was presented and discussed at ESOMAR Congress by an expert team of more than 50 researchers and specialist lawyers. This paper reviews the key ethical, legal, technical and data quality challenges researchers face when working with these new data sources. Its goal is to start a conversation among researchers aimed at clarifying their responsibilities to those whose data we use in research, the clients we serve and the general public. After the Congress meeting this guidance will be developed further in the most appropriate form.
24 QUESTIONS FOR BUYERS OF SOCIAL MEDIA RESEARCH
A few years ago ESOMAR issued a document with the 24 questions buyers of social media research should ask. With the changes in technology in this field and the increased possibilities of using artificial intelligence or machine learning, this document needs to be updated to include these issues. A project team of GRBN and ESOMAR experts will start the review in October.
ESOMAR/GRBN DATA PROTECTION CHECKLIST
The above-mentioned Data Protection Checklist will be reviewed in the light of updates to the legal requirements and technological possibilities. The review will start once there is more clarity on the legal framework and start in 2018.
GUIDELINE ON MUTUAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
This is a third fundamental principles-based guideline that works across methodologies. The 2010 guideline on the mutual rights and responsibilities of researchers and clients will need to be updated in light of the new Code. The work on this guideline will start early 2018.
EMB member of GRBN
Chair Professional Standards Committee of ESOMAR