Author: Jenna Hole

Asthe digital world has rapidly evolved, so has the relationship between acompany and its consumer. In the majority of online interactions andtransactions, personal data collected from consumers is being stored, used andpossibly sold to third parties. This is a huge deal because ‘personal data’ isterm that covers a whole range of information such as names, addresses, andmore sensitive information like religious and political views, sexualorientation and gender. The data collected is therefore very valuable and manydifferent parties may have a vested interest in that data - some that have ethicalambitions and some that don’t.


Datacollection and usage can be extremely beneficial to society. For example, it isimportant for scientific data to be widely available, so it can drive theadvancement of scientific knowledge and innovation. Furthermore, even when datausage is applied in the business industry, it can still have high societalvalue. Indeed, data can be used for reducing potential harm of providedservices, increasing the efficacy of advertising, cutting down costs ofservices and hence, fuelling the economy.

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On the flip side, there are many concerns over the preservation of privacy of consumers and the security of data collection and storage. With huge amounts of sensitive information online, data leaks and cyber-attacks are an ever-present threat that can leave many consumers vulnerable. In2014, tragedy struck when e-commerce giant eBay revealed it had suffered a cyber-attack compromising all 145 million users. The data-breach meant that personal information including encrypted passwords, addresses and phone numbers were accessed, leading eBay to implore all users to change their passwords. This understandably prompted outrage from users as incredibly sensitive information was stored and sent to a third party unknowingly. Although no system can claim tobe impenetrable by hackers, companies can choose to keep personal and secure customer information private by not passing any such details onto third parties. Fortunately, as a result of increased awareness, fewer cyber-attacks have occurred since the successful implementation of GDPR.


Due to it's rapid progression, the usage of online data has overtaken its legal regulations. Therefore, lots of uses of data though technically legal, are still unethical. Ideally, companies would align their practice not only with the law but also with their social and ethical responsibilities. However, that is not always the case. The conglomerate Facebook made headlines in 2018 when it was revealed that the data of millions of users was shared with Cambridge Analytica. Whilst Facebook was legally entitled to do this, it was still an extremely inappropriate use of consumers data and an unethical breach of privacy -especially since Cambridge Analytica used that data to spread individually targeted political propaganda.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an attempt to regulate the use of customers’ data by the government.

The recent arrival of the infamous GeneralData Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an attempt to regulate the use of customers’ data by the government. It came into effect on the 25 May 2018 and applies to all members of the EU andEEA. Due to GDPR, businesses must obtain consent from the people they collect information about and are limited to collecting and processing personal data specific only to the service provided. It also gives individuals more control as they have easier access to the information that’s held about them.Additionally, regulators can now fine organisations if they don’t comply with the GDPR.


Here at ROMA Surveys we respect everyone’s personal details. No matter how much personal information is included in each survey, we guarantee that none of this information will be passed onto third parties. All survey information will be retained by the survey creator itself in order to ensure maximum security when dealing with your sensitive information.


Users, businesses and promoters will hold the decision on whether they want to receive marketing emails from particular businesses and/or survey providers.


Click here to read ROMA Surveys privacy policy.

Click here to read ROMA Surveys privacy policy.

Published on: January 2019

Thursday, April 5, 2018