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How we keep respondent data secure in research

06 Dec 2023
Data privacy concept - male hand touching a padlock icon on a transparent screen

Clients regularly ask us how we ensure that respondent data is kept secure and how we manage Personally Identifiable Information (PII) during a research project. In this post, we explore all things related to data security and protection.

As a fieldwork agency, we’ve got a dual role: providing our clients with the respondent details that they need to conduct insightful market research, and ensuring the confidentiality of respondent information. Whether the research is in-person or online, our priority is the protection of PII in line with legal requirements and industry standards, so that our clients can focus on the content of their research.

Our approach is based on three essential data management principles which serve as the foundation to support the trust that our clients and respondents place in us.

The first is getting educated. We ensure that all members of the FieldworkHub team are fully trained and up to date with relevant data protection regulations including the GDPR (UK and EU) and US Data Privacy Protection Laws. We also take time out regularly to discuss good data management and the emerging trends that we are seeing across different countries. This allows us to provide our clients with expert knowledge when they have questions about PII and data protection. Our in-house project managers can advise clients on the measures we need to put in place for different projects. For example, we can determine when a screener contains enough information to personally identify a respondent and advise clients on how to manage this.

The second is ‘locking it down’. We have implemented stringent security measures to protect sensitive data collected (ranging from date of birth to personal financial information) during research projects. We use multi-factor authentication to manage access to our systems and stop any unauthorised access. When transferring data that contains PII, our project team sends password-protected documents with a separate password (via a different method), to ensure that the document and corresponding password cannot be linked. Our physical facilities are designed with security in mind, preventing unauthorised access to sensitive data. We regularly review and proactively upgrade these measures in response to evolving cyber threats, ensuring the highest level of data security at all times.

The third is transparency. At FieldworkHub, we believe that being transparent is of the utmost importance in maintaining trust which is why we openly communicate our data handling processes with our clients and respondents. Our privacy policy explains in simple language how respondent information will be used, stored, and protected. We always seek explicit consent before collecting personal information and respondents taking part in our research projects always know how their information will be used and processed.

So the next time you are looking for a research partner who is serious about data protection and security, get in touch with FieldworkHub.

You focus on the research, and we’ll handle the rest!

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