The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Thinking

AQR/ESOMAR GDPR Webinar

GDPR crept up on the industry, but even those who planned for its launch still have questions, which AQR's joint webinar with ESOMAR did its best to answer.

With GDPR being at the forefront of our working practice, I was obviously keen to listen to this webinar to understand the broader effect of GDPR across the qualitative MR industry.

The webinar highlighted the fact that clearly we must not let GDPR stand in our way, nor allow us to panic, as it does allow leeway and flexibility. As the focus is on increased responsibility for data processors and controllers it is up to all of us to make sure that we have the right internal processes in place via record keeping as this is a vital way to demonstrate that we are being compliant.

One specific area that it did highlight was the use of platforms such as WhatsApp and clarified that ‘our’ role is to ensure that the platforms follow the promises that we specify in our privacy notice. Essentially, we are responsible for what happens on those platforms when being used as a method of communication on a specific project.

A lot of our clients have been asking about revealing the end client at the beginning of the research as they feel that this can sometimes bias results. I understand that again this is work in progress and that there are no specific guidelines in place at the moment. I do, however, look forward to further clarification on this particular topic in the not too distant future.

Essentially, while this webinar didn’t necessarily tell me anything that I didn’t know already, it did reassure me that GDPR is not a revolution and that a lot of the principles/requirements were already in place under the old directive. What we have now is a clarification of those key requirements.

I look forward to hearing more about being both a data controller and data processor on the same project and realise that there is still work going on so that we can all be 100% clear on where our responsibilities lie.

 

Michelle Mcardle
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