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New ethical mark singles out trustworthy organisations

A Fair Data consumer trust mark will allow the public to make informed decisions about who to trust with their personal data

A new consumer trust mark will ensure the public can trust their personal data is handled ethically and in line with privacy law by organisations and corporations.

The consumer-facing ethical mark by Fair Data will identify research companies that have been certified by an international scheme to ensure ongoing compliance with regulations. The Australian Market & Social Research Society (AMSRS) will introduce the mark.

CEO of AMSRS, Elissa Molloy, said: “Fair Data is about fundamental respect for the people whose data we all rely on for commercial and public purposes: researchers in particular rely on the public’s trust to operate effectively.”

The Fair Data brand will aid the public in easily identifying organisations that collect, use and retain personal data in an ethical and secure way. Only organisations that have signed up to the 10 Fair Data principles and passed an international audit can display the mark.

Molloy said the mark was launched because it is “incredibly important” to the public to be able to instantly identify trustworthy organisations. AMSRS adopted Fair Data because its principles “set the highest ethical standards that enable compliance”.

“This is important as Australian companies operate in a global market in a digital world where the collection, use and storage of data crosses borders,” Molloy said. “Until now, there has been no easy, instantly recognisable way to show that an organisation can be trusted to use people’s personal data in an ethical way.”

The Fair Data scheme will give the public the confidence they need to trust that research is carried out honestly, ethically and objectively without the “unwelcome intrusion” of disadvantage to consumers and participants of research.

“Critically, it enables consumers to make educated choices about their personal data,” Molloy said. “If they deal with a Fair Data organisation, they can have confidence their personal information is safe.”

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