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AMSRO Privacy Code approved by Information Commissioner

MEDIA RELEASE: March 4 2021: The Association of Market and Social Research Organisations (AMSRO), Australia’s peak body representing organisations in the research, insights and data industry, today announced that its Privacy (Market and Social Research) Code 2021 has been registered by the Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk.

Commissioner Falk said, “I support AMSRO’s work to ensure the code meets its objectives and remains effective and relevant. The changes, particularly around data breach reporting, will help ensure the protection of identifiable research information collected about Australians by AMSRO members.”

In today’s data-driven world, where there is an increasing number of high-profile privacy breaches, the Privacy Code contains important guidance and explanatory material to ensure AMSRO member organisations continue to lead the field in privacy compliance – protecting both the industry and the millions of Australians who engage in market and social research.

The Privacy Code registration completes an extensive public consultation and independent review process led by Professor Peter Leonard, Principal of Data Synergies and Professor of Practice (Schools of Management and Governance and IT Systems and Management) at UNSW Business School. Over the past year, Professor Leonard worked closely with AMSRO’s Privacy Compliance Committee (a committee required by law) and members to ensure that the new Privacy Code is fit-for-purpose, dynamic and relevant.

Professor Leonard said, “In Australia and similar jurisdictions, we are seeing rising expectations of regulators and citizens as to quality and coverage of industry codes. Regulators now particularly focus upon processes and practices required to be implemented by code participants to adhere to a code, not just what code participants say that they will do.”

I consider that the new Code reflects these rising expectations as to clarity of purpose and effect of industry code addressing important matters as how personal information about individuals must be protected by code participants, including active oversight and reporting by a code authority, transparency as to compliance, and consequences for non-compliance.”

AMSRO member organisations have a long and successful track record in safeguarding personal information and will continue to conduct legitimate research working under the newly registered Privacy Code, which imposes additional requirements on top of the Australian Privacy Principles to protect confidentiality, prohibit any selling of data and ensure that all personal information is collected only with clear and informed consent.

AMSRO President, George Zdanowicz, said: “As a $1 billion industry, research, data collection, and insights are an important service that benefits all Australians. AMSRO’s members are a major force for improving Australian society. We collect and analyse a wide variety of important data that enables informed social and economic planning, health policy and practice, and research across many sectors, especially social cohesion and mutual trust.

“This information helps government, commercial and not-for-profit organisations make informed decisions based upon the interests and needs of their constituents, clients and the general public. Working with the OAIC, privacy experts and members, AMSRO will continue to pioneer best practice approaches to benefit a society that values evidence and research
and engenders confidence for our clients and, importantly, the Australian public.”

The Privacy (Market and Social Research) Code 2021 is adjudicated by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and administered by AMSRO. Only AMSRO members can operate under the Privacy Code.

A full list of AMSRO members is available here

A full copy of the AMSRO Member Code is available here and, on the OAIC Codes Register here.

The commencement date for the Privacy (Market and Social Research) Code 2021 (the 2021 Code), as varied, will be 22 March 2021.

Website: Association of Market and Social Research Organisations (AMSRO)

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The Research Society is the peak body for research, insights and analytics professionals in Australia. It has a diverse membership of individuals at all levels of experience and seniority within agencies, consultancies, client-side organisations, the non-profit and government sectors, support services as well as institutions and the academic community. As well as over 2,000 individual members, the Research Society has 125+ company and client partners, with the number continuing to grow. The Research Society research professionals and company partners commit to and are regulated by the Research Society Code of Professional Behaviour.