Satyakam Mohanty


Data is an invaluable commodity for businesses and this is why data security has become their top priority. Many international regulators are holding organizations liable for any privacy or security breaches. The recent Facebook – Cambridge Analytica data leak scandal,  EU slapping a second $11 billion antitrust case on Google and now YouTube being made liable for copyright violating videos – all point towards how rampant data security breaches are and how serious the consequences of such violations can be.

For businesses that deal with consumer data like market research firms, the burden of responsibility is huge. With stricter regulations like the GDPR coming into enforcement since May 2018, it has become imperative for companies to safeguard privacy and security in their insights generation process. In order to do so, consumer insights generating organizations need to have checks and balances in place to ensure that important personal data is not misused or divulged to any partners in the value chain. These include:

A clear understanding of the law and its implications


Regulations around data privacy and security are pretty complex in nature. A good stakeholder understanding will help insight firms apply proper security measures right from the beginning. Businesses must ensure that data is processed lawfully as well as follow accurate, adequate and correct usage of and retention of data as per the norms


Anonymized Content


One of the first measures to ensure security is to anonymize the personal data collected from face-to-face research or online channels and replace it with non-personally identifiable descriptors. This prevents data from being sold under the guise of research or sugging (selling under the guise of research) and prevents client organizations from treating customers differently based on their responses. This makes sure that Even in the event of a security breach, where data is stolen or released, while perpetrators may have access to the research, they will still be unable to attach it to the individuals involved in the project.


Access-controlled systems & encryption


In order to enhance security, information is encrypted at different levels. This protects information and files as they are transferred across networks and devices and ensures that the same is not available to be misused. Also, with multi-member teams working on different aspects of the project, an access-controlled system ensures that the data within the team is safe.


Threat detection


AI systems and techniques will play a big role in privacy and data security issues. The use of technology is getting prevalent across almost every industry and among other things, AI is proving to be an indispensable tool to help uncover the threat landscape to organizations’ competitive advantage. AI-based tools can automatically identify potential attacks, malicious behavior and related anomalies in real time, thereby allowing a continuously adaptive defense mechanism that can help organizations to identify and shut down intrusions in a much faster and easier way than ever before.

Privacy and data security remain one of the topmost priorities for insight organizations. These firms have a responsibility to their participants to keep their data safe and secure and ensure that it only stays within trusted hands. This is why it has become more important than ever for insight firms to implement checks and measures at every stage of the research right from data collection to analysis to insight.


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