TOUCHSTONE RESEARCH INC. PRIVACY POLICY

This privacy policy was updated on June 7, 2019.

Touchstone Research, Inc.(collectively with its affiliates, subsidiaries and divisions, together “Touchstone Research” or “TSR” or “we” or “us“)is firmly committed to ensuring the privacy of those customers (“Clients” or “you”) who use the TSR website and to individuals who participate in our research activities (“Panelist”or “you”) on or through the websites or platforms owned, maintained or licensed by TSR, including but not limited to:  panelpolls.com, familyopinions.com, espnfanadvisors.com, americangirlforum.net and childresearch.com (collectively “Sites”).

TSR is a full-service marketing research firm that has been providing quantitative and qualitative market research services for clients for over 25 years.  We at TSR have always cared deeply about the privacy and security of data from our clients and research participants.  This Privacy Notice explains how we collect, store, use, and disclose your Personal Information (as defined below) that we receive from you via the Sites, including the associated online opinion panels, community, forums, blogs, member generated polls, chats, etc. (“Panel“).  By using our Sites, you consent to the terms of this policy.

TSR adheres to the EU-US and Swiss-US Privacy Shield Framework as set forth by the US Department of Commerce, under the enforcement authority of the Federal Trade Commission, regarding the collection, use, and retention of personal information from the European Union member countries.  TSR adheres to the Privacy Shield Principles of Notice, Choice, Accountability for Onward Transfer, Security, Data Integrity and Purpose Limitation, Access, and Recourse, Enforcement and Liability.  If there is any conflict between the policies in this privacy policy or any policy on our website and the Privacy Shield Principles, the Privacy Shield Principles shall govern.  To learn more about the Privacy Shield program, please visit https://www.privacyshield.gov/.

This Privacy Policy is provided in a layered format so you can click through to the specific areas set out below:

  1. Information we collect
  2. Who we share your information with
  3. How long we retain your information
  4. What rights you have over your information
  5. Where your information is used
  6. How we protect your information
  7. Third Party Links
  8. Parent Panelists Information
  9. Changes to this Policy

 

  1. Information we Collect & How it is Used

Our Clients’ Information

You may choose to provide us with your personal contact information on our Contact Form, when subscribing to our Tech Savvy Researcher Newsletter and when commenting on our blog articles.  This information includes, your: name, email address and phone number.

We collect this information with your consent and use your contact information to connect with you when you ask us to do so.  We may also use your contact information to tell you about changes to this privacy policy.

Our Panelists’ Information

We collect three kinds of information:

  1. The opinions of panelists about issues of interest to us or our clients. Opinions are always reported in aggregate only – 52% of panelists thought this-or-that, or 77% of males were aware of something-or-other. This information will be shared with our clients without identifying the identity of any panelist.
  2. Background information about panelists, and their households. During the process of registering at the site eligible panelists are asked a number of questions about themselves and their households. This information is used as background information so that we can target surveys and other Panel activities we conduct and to better interpret results. Background information is reported in aggregate only – for instance, we might report that, 28% of participants are from the East Coast.
  3. When an eligible panelist (teen, young adult, parent or guardian) registers at the Panel we collect limited personally identifiable information in order to communicate by mail, email or telephone with that panelist, send checks, gift certificates and other rewards, and, at a parent’s/legal guardian’s discretion; in order to personalize communication sent to the parent/legal guardian for other household members (for example, a parent may opt to receive survey invitations using their child’s first name that are sent to the Parent to review and approve. If the parent/legal guardian approves they may permit their child’s participation and provide them the personalized invitation for that survey).

We may use information you submit or that we maintain about you or other household members to tailor your and their experience on our website.

The types of personal information that we collect include:

  • Panelist’s Name
  • Panelist’s Address
  • Panelist’s Email addresses
  • Panelist’s Phone number
  • Demographics such as gender, age, household composition/profile, etc.
  • Child’s first name (only if parent opts to provide)
  • Child’s user name for a given Panel activity (only if parent opts to create/have child participate in that activity)

Cookies, Logs & Digital Finger Printing

Cookies.  Cookies are small information files that are placed on your computer when you visit a website.  TSR uses both “session cookies” and “persistent cookies.”  A session cookie remembers your preferences for a single site visit, while a persistent cookie remains after you close your browser and may be used by your browser on subsequent visits to the site. These persistent types of cookies can be removed. Each web browser implements different functionality, so please refer to the manuals or technical support resources that are available in conjunction with your web browser to learn the correct way to modify your cookies set-up.  If you decide to block one or more cookies, the website may not function correctly.

Our Sites use Google Analytics, a service which transmits website traffic data to Google servers in the United States.  Google Analytics does not identify individual users or associate your IP address with any other data held by Google.  We use reports by Google Analytics to help us understand website traffic and website usage.   To opt-out of Google analytics, please click here – https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.

You can also opt-out of cookies in the preferences or options menus of your browser. If you decide to block one or more cookies, the website may not function correctly, also survey functionality may be impaired.

The information collected from cookies on the site is used for our legitimate business interests. We use cookies on the Sites to:

  • determine how visitors to our site engage with and navigate our site, what websites users visit before visiting our site, how often they visit our site, and other similar information. This helps us improve our site and the content we display to our visitors.
  • determine the type of operating system and browser that you and other visitors to our site are using. Some of the surveys we design will work best with certain kinds of browsers or may require certain other software to be installed, so we use this information to determine whether a participant’s computer is capable of displaying those questionnaires.
  • facilitate surveys including preventing individual users from taking any given survey more than one time.

To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit www.allaboutcookies.org, or www.aboutcookies.org.

Comments.  When you leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also your IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.

Log Files.  Web servers use log files to record data about our website visitors’ movement on the site. This is common with most websites and is used to analyze site visitor website interface and produce website traffic statistics. This information typically includes:

  • the IP address of each visitor
  • the time of the visit
  • browser type
  • ISP
  • pages visited.

The log file may also keep track of what resources were loaded during each visit, such as images, JavaScript, or CSS files. The purpose is not to identify individual visitors but to monitor site traffic and trends.

Digital Fingerprints.  General, digital fingerprinting technologies assign a unique identifier or “Machine-ID” to a user’s computer to identify and track the computer. We analyze publicly available information and data obtained from the computer’s web browser and from other publicly available data points, including without limitation the technical settings of the computer, the characteristics of the computer, and the computer’s IP address, to create a unique identifier assigned to the computer.

For data quality control purposes only (e.g. identifying fraudulent respondents), Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com will:

  • link or associate your unique identifier to you and any of your personal information;
  • share your unique identifier with our clients and with other sample or panel providers;
  • receive or obtain a unique identifier linked to you from a third party, including without limitation a sample or panel provider or a client of Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com.

Third Party Vendors.  Touchstone Research, Inc. uses the following 3rd party service providers for data quality control purposes:

  • Imperium (RelevantID®, Verity® and RealAnswer® Technology):  Digital fingerprinting, address verification and survey quality checks
  • Xverify: Email and address verification

Any unique identifier(s) received or obtained by TSR and linked to a specific individual will be protected in accordance with this privacy policy.

Do Not Track (DNT).  Some browsers have a “do not track” feature that lets you tell websites that you do not want to have your online activities tracked. These features are not yet uniform, and our website is not currently set up to respond to those signals for tracking on our website.

 

  1. Who we share your information with

Our Clients’ Information

We share your information with the service providers we engage to perform services on our behalf, including the companies that help us manage our customer contact information and provide the site.  These companies are contractually obligated to use your information solely on our behalf in connection with providing services to us.

We do not sell or rent your personal information.

Our Panelists’ Information

  • Fulfillment (mailing) houses in order to send gifts or prizes to panelists
  • Vendors or subcontractors we hire to help us with data management/processing or companies that work on studies on behalf of or in collaboration with us.
  • Agents and service providers/third parties who we hire to perform quality control on our behalf, to validate and ensure panelist authenticity and to protect against fraud and for our purposes.

Our third-party service providers perform these functions on our behalf under confidentiality agreements.

We will also share your personal information:

  • In the event of a sale of all or part of our business, we will share your personal information with the buyer.
  • To fulfil a legal obligation, including to protect ourselves or our members, enforce our Terms of Use, or in response to a lawful request by public authorities, including to meet national security or law enforcement requirements
  • With our clients, as described in this policy, or as otherwise described to you (for example if you are selected to participate in a qualitative study such as a focus group).
  • To third parties where it has your express permission to do so.

If you use the Community Features such as the Community Forum Area on our website to post blogs, bulletins or chat with fellow community members, you should be aware that any personally identifiable information you submit there can be read, collected, or used by other users of these forums, and could be used to send you unsolicited messages. We are not responsible for the personally identifiable information you choose to submit in these forums. If you give permission for your child to participate in a community activity such as a forum on our site that permits minors’ participation the community rules will forbid members from posting personal information, you must instruct your child not to post personal information and to abide by the Rules of the community. We will remove personal information submitted in these community activities once we become aware of it but we are not responsible for the personally identifiable information submitted in these forums.

TSR shall remain liable under the EU-US Privacy Shield Principle of Accountability for Onward Transfer if its subprocessors process your Personal information in a manner inconsistent with the Privacy Shield Principles, unless TSR proves that it is not responsible for the event giving rise to the damage.

 

  1. How long we retain your information

We retain personally identifiable information for as long as necessary for our legitimate business purposes or in accordance with a particular study agreement and as otherwise permitted by applicable law.

 

  1. What rights you have over your information

You may opt out of any future contacts from us at any time.

We maintain processes or mechanisms to allow you to do the following at any time:

  • See what data we have about you, if any.
  • Change/correct any data we have about you.
  • Have us delete any data we have about you.

You may make changes to your account information, access, correct, or delete Personal Information held by TSR by contacting us at:

Touchstone Research, Inc.
Attn: Travis Santa, Privacy Officer
14 Business Park Drive
Suite 7
Branford, CT 06405

Email: Privacy@touchstoneresearch.com

 

Panelists can also access personally identifiable information about themselves by clicking [here] to fill out a Subject Access Request Form, using the Contact Us on the website or sending a letter to the mail address listed below, they can review the personal information about themselves and their household, update, correct the data, or indicate that they wish to withdraw from participation in The Panel. You may be asked to verify your identity, including by providing your full name or email address. There are no costs to you for exercising your right to access your personal information, or to request further information on our Privacy Policy or practices.

Panelists can also request that their personally identifiable information be deleted by clicking [here] to fill out a Subject Access Request Form, using the Contact US on the website or sending a letter to the mail address listed above. Once the request is received the panelist information will be permanently deleted from our database.

EU & Swiss Citizens

In compliance with the EU-US and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Principles, TSR commits to resolve complaints about your privacy and our collection or use of your personal information.  European Union individuals with inquiries or complaints regarding this privacy policy should first contact TSR at:

Touchstone Research, Inc.
Attn:  Travis Santa, Privacy Officer
14 Business Park Drive
Suite 7
Branford, CT 06405

Email: Privacy@touchstoneresearch.com

We have appointed DP-Dock in Germany to act as our GDPR representative in the EU. Our representative can be contacted as follows:

Email: touchstone@gdpr-rep.com
DP-Dock GmbH
Ballindamm 39
20095 Hamburg
Germany

Tel: +49 (0) 40 99999 - 3430
Fax: +49 (0) 40 99999 - 3332

www.dp-dock.com

TSR has further committed to refer unresolved privacy complaints under the EU-US Privacy Shield Principles to the INSIGHTS ASSOCIATION PRIVACY SHIELD PROGRAM, a non-profit alternative dispute resolution provider location in the United States and operated by the Insights Association.  If you do not receive a timely acknowledgement of your complaint, or if your complaint is not satisfactorily addressed, please visit http://www.insightsassociation.org/get-support/privacy-shield-program/privacy-shield-eu-swiss-citizens-file-complaint for more information and to file a complaint.  These dispute resolution services are provided to you at no cost.

If your complaint is not resolved after following the recourse mechanisms described above, you may have the ability, under certain limited conditions, to invoke binding arbitration before the Privacy Shield Arbitration Panel.

TSR further commits to cooperate with EU data protection authorities (DPAs) and the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC) and comply with the advice given by such authorities with regard to human resources data transferred from the EU and Switzerland in the context of the employment relationship.

 

  1. Where your information is used

We collect and receive data from inside and outside of the United States.

To ensure that EU personal data is adequately protected when transferred outside the EU, the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and, as of May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation mandate that such transfers take place using certain legal mechanisms described in this EU Data Protection Unit FAQ.

We will use European Commission-approved Standard Contractual Clauses as a legal mechanism for data transfers from the EU. As explained in the EU Data Protection Unit FAQ, these clauses are contractual commitments between companies transferring personal data, binding them to protect the privacy and security of the data. We use Standard Contractual Clauses so that the data flows necessary to provide, maintain, and develop our Panels take place legally.

We have appointed DP-Dock in Germany to act as our GDPR representative in the EU. Our representative can be contacted as follows:

Email: touchstone@gdpr-rep.com
DP-Dock GmbH
Ballindamm 39
20095 Hamburg
Germany

Tel: +49 (0) 40 99999 - 3430
Fax: +49 (0) 40 99999 - 3332
www.dp-dock.com

 

  1. How we protect your information
  • We use physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online and to protect your personal information, including email address, from loss or theft, unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification. Personal data and survey respondent data is kept separately.
  • We have an extensive rights management for all Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com team members, clients and authorized vendor/client staff. Access is password protected and on a “need-to-know” basis.
  • Security includes SSL (HTTPS) authentication and encryption for data transmission. Servers are kept in secure access (logged) controlled data center, fully air-conditioned, fire doors and nitrogen firefighting appliances. All server systems are connected to each other and to the Internet with a maximum performance of 155 Mbit.

Although we take reasonable precautions to protect the information we collect on this site, no data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. The Internet by its nature is a public medium, and we encourage you to use caution when disclosing information online. Once we receive your transmission, we make our best effort to ensure its security on our system; however, we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us or from our online products or services, and you do so at your own risk.

 

  1. Third Party Links

This web site contains links to other sites that are not owned or controlled by TSR.  TSR is not responsible for the privacy practices of other websites. We encourage you to be aware when you leave our Sites, and to read the privacy statements of any website that collects personally identifiable information.

 

  1. Parent Panelists: Family Participation

Parents/legal guardians who are registered Panelists are not required to but may, at their discretion, allow other family members to participate in studies/surveys, community or other Panel activities on a per project basis. Parents or legal guardians who are registered Panelists may permit their children to participate in surveys, studies and other Panel activities anonymously or, alternatively, parents/legal guardians who are registered Panelists may provide their child’s first name so that invitations may be personalized for their child and points can be assigned in the parent account with the child’s name associated. The parent/legal guardian decides whether to permit their child’s participation for each study/survey or Panel activity. All communication from Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com with children is done through obtaining the parent or legal guardian.

 

  1. Changes to this Policy

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes to this Privacy Policy, and we will either email you, or put a notice on our home page and other places we deem appropriate so that you are aware of the changes.  We will obtain prior parental consent if any changes we make to this Policy affect users under the age of 13 in a way that requires such consent under COPPA.  We reserve the right to modify this Privacy Policy at any time, for any reason, at our sole discretion, so please review it frequently. I f you use the website or continue to participate in the Panel after the changes become effective it will signify your acceptance of such changes. The Privacy Policy applies to any information we collect or receive about you from any source.

If you have questions or concerns about our Privacy Policy that aren’t addressed below, you can contact us by calling: 1-800-409-2665, or simply click here, or write:

Touchstone Research, Inc.
Attn:  Travis Santa, Privacy Officer
14 Business Park Drive, Suite 7
Branford, CT 06405

Email:  Privacy@touchstoneresearch.com