ESOMAR guideline for online research

Date of publication: June 15, 2011

Author: ESOMAR B.V.

Abstract:

While many of the technical and methodological issues involved in internet research have been clarified since this Guideline was last updated in 2005, the international legal framework governing the internet is still evolving meaning that online research operates in a less well defined legal framework than other forms of research, especially in a multi-country setting. The objective of this Guideline is to explain how to apply some of the fundamental principles of the Code in the context of the current legal and regulatory environments around the world and to support researchers in addressing legal, ethical and practical considerations in using new technologies when conducting online research. ESOMAR regards it as vital to stress the distinction between market research and marketing. Market research is not a commercial communication and works within a less restrictive legal framework around the world. The distinction can be easily explained; personal data collected for market research are used only for research purposes and are not divulged for marketing directly to the individual or for other uses. See ESOMAR Guide Distinguishing market research from other data collection activities. ESOMAR has worked closely with CASRO in developing this Guideline and in particular, the section on using technologies in research is based on and aligned with CASRO guidance.

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