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Updated ESOMAR/ICC Code of Conduct 2016

Updated ICC/ESOMAR International Code for market, opinion and social research and data analytics is future-proofed to strengthen public trust and confidence

Many of ESOMAR’s events and publications discuss the exciting new methodologies that are being used in research.

As more data is available than ever before, researchers are incorporating data collected by passive means including from secondary sources such as social media, mobile technology and Internet of Things, reducing their reliance on survey research alone. Some of you are also using analytics to assemble and analyse large databases and uncover patterns in the data to deliver powerful new insights.

To recognise the transformation in how research is conducted and the new players who are entering our sector, ESOMAR and the ICC (the International Chamber of Commerce) have updated the ICC/ESOMAR International Code to cover these activities.

ESOMAR members voted to accept the revised Code in the recent referendum, which has also been approved by the ICC. We are therefore delighted to announce the release of the new ICC/ESOMAR International Code on Market, Opinion and Social Research and Data Analytics.

The text has also been updated to align with the latest regulatory requirements to address many new privacy issues including the new EU General Data Protection Regulation.

The Code will assist researchers and data analysts who are working with both traditional and new sources of data, to ensure that the data is collected and used in a professional, responsible and ethical way, to safeguard the rights of the public as well as the clients and the organisations that they serve.

Last revised in 2007, the Code retains the fundamental principles that guarantee responsible and ethical behaviour with updates to ensure it is fit-for-purpose for both traditional researchers and new entrants, many of whom are technology based.

The revised Code will serve as the self-regulatory framework that has been successfully in place for many decades, upheld by all ESOMAR members whether individual or corporate to safeguard the rights of respondents, clients and researchers.

This means that as from January 2017, ESOMAR’s Disciplinary Procedures will refer to the revised Code when complaints about compliance are considered.

ESOMAR plans to update all its guidance to clarify researchers’ responsibilities, especially when using new and possibly less obvious ways of collecting data to remain sensitive to consumer concerns and the need to protect the privacy and security of any personal data collected.

We thank the team of experts, the ICC, ESOMAR’s Professional Standards and Legal Committees and the many associations, companies and individual members who helped us develop the revised Code.


Finn Raben ESOMAR Director General

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