Opinion Outpost

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Global Opinion Panels

Effective: October 30th, 2009

Thank you for agreeing to join our research panel. Synovate and the other companies of the Synovate network of market research firms ("Synovate Group") as well as production support affiliates (“Affiliates”) is one of the largest global marketing research organizations, specializes in collecting and processing information to assist clients with strategic business decisions. For more than 60 years, we have gathered information from millions of consumers like you and throughout that time we have honored the privacy of our research participants.

We adhere to the principles and codes of the relevant Market Research Societies (like the International Chambers of Commerce/ESOMAR International Code on Market and Social Research) and as such are committed to maintaining panelists’ privacy. Our privacy policy and Web site conform to such standards.

Synovate also collects a variety of publicly available machine information (ex. Internet Provider Address) for system administration, service improvement and maintenance of data integrity purposes. For details on technology used to collect this information, please refer to section 8.
In some cases, as a member of our Panel, you may be asked to provide sensitive data including, for example, racial origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical believes, membership in unions, your health or sexual life. When we do so, we will explicitly ask for your consent to collect and process this data and you will never be required to provide this information if you do not wish to do so (although, of course, this may preclude you from participating in some research studies).

We will store personally identifiable and demographic data that you submit to us as well as data that we automatically collect on you (see section 8). We will then use such information to:

Determine for which specific surveys you and your household qualify, based on demographics and indicated interests, and contact you for participation;
Send product samples tailored to your habits, interests and preferences for testing; or
Award and publicize contest and sweepstakes prizes, or provide other rewards that you expressed an interest in;
Verify integrity of submitted information
Prevent members that were found in violation of the terms and conditions from repetitive empanelment
In order for us to determine which survey opportunities are appropriate for you and your household, we may need to request additional personally identifiable information. When we request such information, we clearly disclose what details are required and how your ability to participate in our services will be impacted if you choose not to provide requested information.

When these results are presented to clients, participants’ names and addresses are not included with the results.

We never knowingly target or collect personally identifiable information directly from persons below the age of 16. If we would like the opinions of children or young persons who are under age 16 in your household, we will explicitly address the survey to the adult registered panel member and ask him/her to supervise the answering of the questions to be asked of the child. The way in which the opinions of children or young persons will be used will always be stated explicitly at the same time the question is asked and we will not require a child to disclose more information than is reasonably necessary to participate in an activity. The registered panel member may at any time ask to have a child's information deleted, and refuse to allow further collection or use.

We maintain the security of the personally identifiable information we hold about you. We store the personal details we hold about you only for as long as needed for the purposes indicated in this policy. Email addresses of persons who opted put or requested to be removed from the Panel will be retained only to ensure we conform to such wish. Where a Panelist has been found to be in breach of the terms and condition and has been removed, we might retain relevant data to ensure conformity with that decision.
We have in place appropriate security measures, including secure transfer technologies (SSL) as well as encryption methods, to protect the security and confidentiality of personal data whilst controlled by us. We will maintain and improve these measures over time in line with legal and technological developments. However, although we go to lengths to protect your personal data from unauthorized disclosure, you should be aware that electronic communications via the Internet are not always completely secure.
To ensure the accuracy of Synovate’s records, we will contact you periodically to confirm the informa­tion we receive. You can also contact us utilizing contact information in section 11, to review, amend or correct such information. We will make a sincere effort to respond in a timely manner to any request to correct inaccuracies in your personal information. In efforts to ensure accuracy of Synovate records and monitor compliance with membership terms and conditions, we may verify provided information against a third party database. This process will follow guidelines described in section 5.

In principle, we will not share personally identifiable information about you with third parties. However, Synovate may send personally identifiable information about you, including your email address, to other companies or people when we either:

Have your consent to share the information;
Need to share this information to provide to you the information, product or service you have requested;
Are conducting business with companies that are a member of the Synovate Group;
Are engaging our Affiliates for purposes of processing data on our behalf under strict confidentiality agreements and security requirements;
Are conducting secondary data use as outlined in section 6;
Respond to subpoenas, court orders or legal process or comply with relevant laws;
Find or have strong reasons to believe that your actions on our website(s) violate membership or website usage terms and conditions or are in violation of law; in that case we may forward your information to the authorities or to third parties helping us investigating or prosecuting such alleged or shown violation.
We may transfer your data to other operations within the Synovate Group or carefully selected “Affiliates” in countries outside your originating country for processing purposes on our behalf and under strict contractual protection. In such an event, the information may be have to be made available to the countries’ government agencies under a lawful order made in that country. The level of data protection may vary from country to country. However, Synovate adheres to the Safe Harbor Agreement and follows the Safe Harbor Principles published by the U.S. Department of Commerce ("Principles") with respect to all such data transferred to the US. Compliance with the Principles may be limited, however, in certain cases to the extent necessary to meet national security, public interest or law enforcement requirements.
All Synovate personnel with access to personally identifiable data are obligated to familiarize themselves and comply with provi­sions of this Statement. A full statement of the Synovate Safe Harbor Agreement is provided here: http://www.synovate.com/legal/safeharbor/

In addition to identifying survey projects you may qualify for, Synovate uses data from our members in statistical modeling to better understand trends among the general population. When we perform this statistical modeling, we never release names or other personally identifiable information.

In some cases, clients require personally identifiable information from your panel membership account to send out product samples that you or your household indicated interest in testing, or to perform an analysis on other market research data which can be appended to your survey answers. Clients that receive survey participants’ personal information are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement. There is no risk to you or your household will be targeted or contacted for marketing purposes as a result of this process.

Should Synovate have a need to use personally identifiable information for another purpose than those stated within this Privacy Policy, we will request your permission before doing so.

The Synovate web site provides links to other World Wide Web pages that provide additional opportunities and information from third parties. Synovate’s privacy policy cannot and does not apply to external Web areas. Even if a business partnership or third party affiliation exists between Synovate and the operator of a linked Web page, once you depart the Synovate site you are subject to the linked site's privacy policies and procedures. Because Synovate has no control over such Web operators, you should consult each Web site's privacy policy before providing personally identifiable information. However, we invite you to contact us if you have concerns about privacy policies of sites linked on GlobalOpinionPanels.com as we will use your feedback to determine whether to continue providing those links.

Synovate utilizes technological advances in order to administer, protect and improve our services, systems and products. We also utilize these solutions to monitor and maintain the integrity of our data, which includes but is not limited to, preventing the same respondent answering a survey multiple times and eliminating fraudulent respondent behaviors at any stage of the panel membership process.

We may use persistent and session type cookies and other small data files routinely stored on your hard drive to tailor our website to your interests based on the items you review while visiting our site. Such technologies may also be used by us for other purposes related to your visit to our site or to improve our website and maintain the integrity of our data. You can choose to have your computer warn you each time a cookie is being sent, or you can choose to turn off all cookies. If you turn cookies off you may not be able to access our website or many of the features that make your web experience more efficient. Also, some of our website services may not function properly.

Synovate uses pixels, or transparent GIF files, to help manage online advertising. These GIF files are provided by our ad management partner, DoubleClick and enable us to learn which advertisements bring users to our website. For more information about DoubleClick, including information about how to opt out of these technologies, go to http://www.doubleclick.com/privacy/index.aspx

Synovate also utilizes a variety of publicly available machine information, such as IP (Internet Provider) address and computer technology your machine is using (ex. browser version). This information is used for system administration (such as site usage reporting and analysis) so we can constantly improve the content we provide. For instance, if our tracking indicates numerous members are accessing a particular page, we will post a special link that makes it easy to find; as well as ensuring content is displayed using technologies available on your machine. In addition, it enables us to maintain the integrity of our data and eliminate fraudulent respondent behavior across all stages and activities of panel membership. With these technologies, the information we collect and share is anonymous and not personally identifiable. It does not contain your name, address, telephone number, or email address.

You may freely revoke the consent you provide at our website at any time, for instance by sending an email to (panel relations email address).
Upon receipt of your revocation we will inform the other companies of the Synovate Group and Affiliates and all of your personally identifiable data will be deleted or made anonymous as soon as technically possible with the next data run.

We reserve the right to update and make changes to this notice. As we continue to modify our website and take advantage of developing technologies, this Privacy Statement will most likely change. Therefore, we encourage you to refer to this Privacy Statement on an ongoing basis. You can obtain historic Privacy Statements by sending a corresponding email to us under the email-address stated under section 11 below.

For any questions, complaints, comments or suggestions, or in the event that you wish to receive a written excerpt from the personally identifiable data that we store on you, please contact us by e-mail at marie@synovate.net or under our address stated below.

Please utilize various contact methods and information sources presented below in order to

Log onto our panelist website;
E-mail your request to marie@synovate.net;
Call our help line at (800) 745-4267; or
Send a written request to:
Global Opinion Panels,
Synovate Inc.,
P.O. Box 5030,
Chicago, Illinois 60680
Please provide your email address when contacting us regarding your registration record.


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