Főoldali vendégtartalmak

ESOMAR in Uruguay: Does Regulation Contribute to a Better Democracy?

RW Connect - 2018. március 22., csütörtök
 Does Regulation Contribute to a Better Democracy?


On February 22, CEISMU, the Uruguayan Association of market researchers, organized a special session in the anteroom of the Uruguayan Chamber of Deputies, in the Legislative Palace in Montevideo, bringing together researchers, academics, journalists and members of the Uruguayan government to discuss – and debate – the role of polls and their relationship to democracy. Alain Mizrahi, CEO of Grupo Radar and President of CEISMU and the ESOMAR national representative organized the session, which was attended by more than 60 people.

There had been talk of the government regulating opinion and election polling, something that is always a matter of concern. Uruguay currently has a four-day blackout period for reporting polls before elections – although it is a publication embargo, it is one of the shortest in all of Latin America, a part of the world with some of the longest pre-election blackout periods. Seven countries in the region report publishing embargoes of two weeks or more; every country in Central America and ten countries in South America report blackout periods ranging from two to 30 days.

Recently, there have been discussions in Uruguay on whether or not there should be additional rules for the publication of election polls.to present ESOMAR sent two researchers to speak at the meeting. Although Uruguay is far from Europe, this trip was an important opportunity for ESOMAR to take a strong position in favor of poll freedom and self-regulation.

Jon Puleston of Lightspeed Research (UK), a member of the ESOMAR Professional Standards Committee, who reported details from the Kantar study on the accuracy of pre-election polls, based on analysis of more than 30,000 polls from 1940 to the present from all over the world. Parts of that report were presented at Congress, and an article on the study is in Research World.

Kathy Frankovic, from the United States, is also a Professional Standards Committee member. She worked with WAPOR on the latest iteration of the Freedom to Publish Global Study, which will be published later this year. The study highlights the prevalence and length of pre-election blackout periods throughout the world (more than half the 133 countries in the study report pre-election embargoes).

What Puleston told the Uruguayans at the meeting was that pre-election polls – when taken in the last week of an election campaign — have a high degree of accuracy. That suggests that long embargoes leave decision-makers and the public overall with flawed information about the status of an election, depriving them of information they could use to cast an informed vote.

Frankovic spoke about the importance of having pre-election information about candidate and public support, and the value of self-regulation, which ESOMAR endorses. While self-regulation is sometimes difficult, it ensures that judgments are made by researchers with knowledge and not by government, and preserves the availability of information for all.

Reaction was positive, but we will now see what the Uruguayan government chooses to do.

The Legislative Palace itself is one of the highlights of Montevideo, with Italian-designed stained glass and mosaics, and 50 different Uruguayan varieties of marble inlaid on the floor of the “Lost Steps” Main Hall of the building. Uniformed guards are at the entrances to the legislative chambers’ anterooms, and around the historic documents of the country’s founding.

Puleston and Frankovic spent three days with Uruguayan researchers, and were able to see the sights, savor the shops and the food of Uruguay – and bring back both information and souvenirs!

ESOMAR is the Global Insights Community

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Attitude Drives Innovation: Key Learnings from the Insight Show CEO Panel

RW Connect - 2018. március 21., szerda
 Key Learnings from the Insight Show CEO Panel

Catch the highlights from the recent CEO's panel at Insight Show and learn the key to driving innovation in research.

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Cambridge Analytica; Lack of knowledge or principles?

RW Connect - 2018. március 20., kedd
Cambridge Analytica; Lack of knowledge or principles?

By Finn Raben

Over the weekend the New York Times and Observer newspapers reported that data mining and analysis company Cambridge Analytica, a company that had been employed with considerable success by Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential campaign, had illegally harvested 50 million Facebook profiles in order to build a powerful software program to predict and influence choices at the ballot box. The Observer reports that data was collected via a digital app on the Facebook platform where hundreds of thousands of users were paid to take a personality test and agreed to have their data collected for academic use. However, the app also collected the information of the test-takers’ Facebook friends.

At the time of writing both Cambridge Analytica and Facebook deny any wrong doing. Furthermore Cambridge Analytica’s CEO Alexander Nix went on record in February to tell British MPs that the company categorically did not use Facebook data in its work. Although Cambridge Analytica may not be described as a traditional research company, they actively collect and analyse consumer data, and have previously appeared on market research industry platforms and engaged with the industry as peers.

A similar quandary was also raised last week in relation to Google, who has to deal with renewed questions regarding its historical scanning of users emails for marketing purposes.

Most people in the insights and data industry will immediately recognise the problematic nature of this data collection. Any researcher or data collector who is a member of ESOMAR, or any one of the national associations that require subscription to a set of Codes and Guidelines for data collection, will understand that if these claims are true, not only was this behaviour illegal and unethical, it was also damaging to the perception of the data collection industry.

What I have found particularly worrying in the coverage is that Christopher Wylie, the researcher employed by Cambridge Analytica who has turned whistleblower , said “I assumed it was entirely legal and above board”. This statement illustrates an issue that is now becoming prevalent in digital big data collection; the ethical role of the collector of data and their relationship with the public.

For lawmakers, data collection is data collection, and the rights of the public are paramount. As an industry we need to ensure that the codes and guidelines that our members adhere to, are understood by a much broader audience, particularly people working in data analytics and technology, so that the Christopher Wylies of this world know what is legal and morally appropriate, or the very future of our industry is at risk.

In the next few weeks more information will come out on both these stories, and if proved correct, I’m sure the legal ramifications will be far reaching. ESOMAR was founded 70 years ago with an unwavering commitment to ensuring research and data collection does not harm individuals or impact them directly. Cases such as these reinforce that in an era driven by passive digital analytics, the fundamental wisdom and crucial importance of respecting these principles endures. Furthermore, ESOMAR unequivocally condemns any data collection that does not conform to the ICC/ESOMAR International Code of Market, Opinion and Social Research and Data Analytics.

Our profession’s standing as a successful self-regulating industry has been recognised by the EU, who invited us to join a ‘Community of Practice’ on self-regulation. Now, we look forward to working more closely with legislators and regulators to promote and maintain the importance of high professional and ethical standards. In parallel, as the global voice of the data and insights industry ESOMAR will ensure that our members are heard by legislators across the globe, particularly in Brussels, and we can assure members that will look to broaden the reach of ESOMAR codes as the corner stone of ethical data collection and the security of the industry.

Finn Raben is Director General at ESOMAR, The Global Insights Community. 

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Co-creation: The Future for Brands – Part 2

RW Connect - 2018. március 20., kedd
 The Future for Brands – Part 2

Find out how technology can help fuel co-creation in an era where collaboration is expected to be the norm.

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