Europeans uneasy about MR's data-handling capabilities
EUROPE-- A majority of EU citizens no longer trust market research companies to protect their personal data, according to the results of a Eurobarometer poll.
Fifty-seven per cent of the 27,000 people interviewed across 27 countries said they did not trust MR agencies to use their personal information in the proper way, compared to just 33% who did. Trust was lowest in Germany at 23% and highest in Malta at 50%.
Benchmarked against other organisations, MR firms came third from bottom – above travel companies and mail order companies but behind credit reference agencies, non-profit organisations and credit card companies.
Worst of all for research agencies, they were the only organisations to have seen a continuing decrease in levels of trust since 1991.
Adam Phillips, who chairs the professional standards committee of industry association Esomar, said the survey findings were “a wake-up call” to the market research business.
He said there was no evidence to justify this lack of trust in MR agencies' data-handling capabilities, but warned that the results of the Eurobarometer poll could put pressure on the MR industry when legislators next review European data protection rules.
For the complete report, Data Protection in the European Union: Citizens' Perceptions, click here.
Author: Brian Tarran