Effective Date: December 16, 2010
Last Revised: January 11, 2012
GfK Custom Research LLC ("GfK”) respects the privacy of individuals who have been invited to participate in research that we conduct. For more than 75 years GfK has been collecting information from consumers and, throughout that time, we have honored their privacy.
PERSONAL INFORMATION WE COLLECT
We will always collect your Personal Information by fair and lawful means. GfK may collect information that can specifically identify you, such as your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and other similar information. We may collect Personal information directly from you when you voluntarily provide it to us or we may obtain Personal Information from clients or research firms who commission us to provide research services on their behalf. We may also obtain Personal Information from list providers who have assured us that their lists comprise only individuals who have consented to be listed. Finally, we may collect and use Personal Information obtained from publicly-available sources, such as telephone directories.
The purpose of our collection and use of Personal Information is to conduct market, opinion and social research for the benefit of our clients who include for-profit companies, non-profit organizations and governmental institutions. Our clients use survey research results for a variety of purposes, such as to understand consumers’ awareness and usage of, or satisfaction with, various products and services; to design or test new products; or to test the effectiveness of communications. Other clients use surveys and focus groups to measure attitudes and public opinion on political and social issues.
In most research surveys, we ask standard demographic questions, some of which may be considered sensitive in nature, such as your age, household composition, income range and racial or ethnic origin. We ask these questions to help ensure that the demographic profiles of individuals who kindly participate in our surveys accurately reflect the target population (e.g. U.S. consumers aged 18 and over) that we are trying to approximate. Good quality survey research depends on having representative samples of the population that is being studied. We understand, though, if you would prefer not to answer certain questions.
From time to time we may collect sensitive information that may include but is not limited to health and financial information.
We will never ask you for sensitive Personal Information that could give rise to economic crimes if it were lost, misused or disclosed to an unauthorized party, such as credit card numbers, bank account information, passport numbers or driver’s license numbers. The only exception to this is with respect to Social Security Numbers. If we conduct a sweepstakes in which you participate and win, and for which the prize amount exceeds a certain amount, then we may be required by law to collect your Social Security Number for tax reporting purposes.
We also automatically collect a variety of publicly-available machine information for system administration, service improvement and data integrity purposes, as further described in the Information Collected by Automated Technologies section below.
USE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
We may use and disclose Personal Information for any of the following reasons:
· to invite you to participate in survey research;
· to conduct a survey research interview with you;
· to validate answers you gave in a recent survey we conducted;
· to update and to ensure that our records of your Personal Information are correct;
· to respond to requests you may make of us, including to provide services that you have requested;
· to share with agents, contractors or partners of GfK Custom Research LLC in connection with services that these individuals or entities perform for, or with, GfK. These agents, contractors or partners are restricted from using this information in any way other than to provide services for GfK. We may, for example, provide Personal Information to agents, contractors or partners for hosting our survey websites, for data collection or processing services, or for sending you information that you requested, but those parties cannot use your Personal Information for their own purposes unrelated to the work they are doing for us;
· to share with clients of GfK, but in these cases your identifiable Personal Information will only be shared with clients i) with your consent, or ii) for permitted research purposes in accordance with the CASRO Code of Standards and Ethics for Survey Research;
· to respond to duly authorized information requests of governmental authorities or where required by law;
· to investigate suspected fraudulent activity or violation of another party’s rights;
INFORMATION COLLECTED BY AUTOMATED TECHNOLOGIES
As further specified below, we automatically collect a variety of machine-readable information about you, including the date and time you visited our website, the pages you visited, the website you came from, the type of browser you are using (e.g., Internet Explorer), the type of operating system you are using (e.g., Windows XP), your Internet Protocol address and the domain name and address of your Internet service provider.
If you wish, you can adjust your web browser’s privacy settings to delete cookies upon exiting websites or when you close your browser. You may also configure your browser to block cookies, however doing so may negatively impact your user experience on this site.
Local Shared Objects
We use Local Shared Objects (also known as "Flash cookies”) for a variety of legitimate purposes. These include storing some of your preferences, displaying content based upon what you view, personalizing your visit, tracking your behavior and activities across multiple visits to the site and combating fraud.
Flash cookies are different from browser cookies because of the amount and type of data stored and how the data are stored.
The latest versions of popular browsers now allow internet users to manage Flash cookies using browser privacy settings or downloading add-ons.
If your browser does not support these features, then you can manage privacy and storage settings for Flash cookies or disable their use entirely by visiting Macromedia’s website, the manufacturer of Flash Player, at the following link: http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager.html
As is true of most websites, we gather certain information automatically and store it in log files. This information includes Internet Protocol addresses, browser type, Internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp and clickstream data.
We use this information to analyze trends, to administer the site, to track users' movements around the site and to gather demographic information about our user base as a whole. We may link this automatically-collected data to personally-identifiable information for legitimate research purposes, such as to detect and prevent fraudulent activity.
We use digital fingerprinting technology, also known as "device fingerprinting” and "machine identification" ("Digital Fingerprinting”), to gather certain data about you and/or your computer. This data may include personally identifiable information such as an email address or an Internet Protocol (IP) address, as well as non-personally identifiable information such as a computer operating system or browser version number. A digital fingerprint commonly takes the form of a small file that websites can place on your computer through normal usage of your web browser. This technology creates a unique computer identifier ("ID”) which may be used to identify and track your participation in a survey and limit participation.
USE OF NON-PERSONAL INFORMATION
GfK may use and disclose Non-Personal Information for any number of reasons and with any number of parties. However, such uses shall not include your Personal Information unless such use complies with the permitted uses of your Personal Information set forth above.
INFORMATION FROM CHILDREN
We have no intention of collecting Personal Information from children under the age of 13. If we become aware that Personal Information from a child under 13 has been collected without the consent of such child’s parent or guardian, we will use all reasonable efforts to delete such information from our database.
The security of your Personal Information is very important to us. We have put in place reasonable physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard the information we collect. Only those employees who need access to your information in order to perform their duties are authorized to have access to your Personal Information. However, we cannot guarantee that all communications between us or information stored on our servers will be free from unauthorized access by third parties such as hackers, and your use of our services demonstrates your assumption of this risk.
ACCESS TO PERSONAL INFORMATION
We will make available to you Personal Information about you in our custody or control that we have collected, used or disclosed, upon your written request, to the extent required and/or permitted by law.
To request access to Personal Information that we hold about you, we require that you submit your request in writing at the e-mail address or postal address shown below in the Contact Us section. When we receive an access request from an individual, we will attempt to fulfill the requested information within 30 days, including requests regarding the Personal Information we have in our possession or control about the individual, what it is being used for, and to whom it has been disclosed, if applicable.
In certain situations, however, we may not be able to give individuals access to all of their Personal Information. This may occur when:
· Providing access to Personal Information would be likely to reveal Personal Information about a third party;
· Disclosing the information would reveal confidential commercial information;
· The information has been collected for the purposes of a legal investigation.
If we deny an individual's request for access to their Personal Information, we will advise the individual of the reason for the refusal.
ACCURACY OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
We make reasonable efforts to keep Personal Information in our possession or control, which is used on an ongoing basis, accurate, complete, current and relevant, based on the most recent information available to us. If you would like to correct, modify or delete your Personal Information, please see the Contact Us section below.
Please note that any Personal Information that we collect may remain in back-up storage for some period of time after your request. We will also be unable to recover any Personal Information from any agent, contractor, partner or client once it has been transferred to them. Also, please note that we will maintain all usage data and Personal Information in our database whenever we are required to do so by law.
The GfK Group is a global organization. Your Personal Information may be collected, stored, processed, used and transferred by one or more GfK affiliated companies or non-affiliated service providers in one or more countries outside your originating country.
GfK Custom Research LLC complies with the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework and the U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of personal information from European Union member countries and Switzerland. GfK has certified that it adheres to the Safe Harbor Privacy Principles ("Principles”) of notice, choice, onward transfer, security, data integrity, access, and enforcement. To learn more about the Safe Harbor program, and to view GfK’s certification, please visit http://www.export.gov/safeharbor/.
Compliance with the Principles may be limited in certain cases to the extent necessary to meet national security, public interest or law enforcement requirements. By using this website and participating in GfK research, you consent to the transfer, storage, use and disclosure of your Personal Information among our affiliated companies and non-affiliated service providers, wherever located. GfK’s service providers are contractually bound to respect the confidentiality of your Personal Information.
CHANGES TO THIS POLICY
GfK Custom Research LLC
75 Ninth Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10011
Attention: Compliance and Privacy Officer