At Mainstreet Research, we are committed to providing our clients and the public with exceptional Public Opinion and Market research services. As providing this service involves the collection of some personal information about public opinion from the general public, protecting their personal information is one of our highest priorities.
We will inform the public of why and how we collect, use and disclose their personal information, obtain their consent where required, and only handle their personal information in a manner that a reasonable person would consider appropriate in the circumstances.
This Personal Information Protection Policy, outlines the principles and practices we will follow in protecting personal information. Our privacy commitment includes ensuring the accuracy, confidentiality, and security of personal information.
Scope of this Policy
This Personal Information Protection Policy applies to Mainstreet Research
This policy also applies to any service providers collecting, using or disclosing personal information on behalf of Mainstreet Research.
Personal Information –means information about an identifiable Personal information does not include contact information (described below).
Contact information – means information that would enable an individual to be contacted at a place of business and includes name, position name or title, business telephone number, business address, business email or business fax number. Contact information is not covered by this policy.
Privacy Officer – means the individual designated responsibility for ensuring that Mainstreet Research complies with this policy and PIPA.
Policy 1 – Collecting Personal Information
1.1 Unless the purposes for collecting personal information are obvious and the respondent voluntarily provides his or her personal information for those purposes, we will communicate the purposes for which personal information is being collected, either orally or in writing, before or at the time of collection.
1.2 We will only collect information that is necessary to fulfill the following purposes:
- To identify consumer preferences, or collect opinions
- To ensure a high standard of service to our clients
- To meet regulatory requirements;
Policy 2 – Consent
2.1 We will obtain an individuals consent to collect, use or disclose personal information (except where, as noted below, we are authorized to do so without consent).
2.2 Consent can be provided or it can be implied where the purpose for collecting using or disclosing the personal information would be considered obvious and the individuals voluntarily provides personal information for that purpose.
2.3 Consent may also be implied where an individual is given notice and a reasonable opportunity to opt-out by not participating in the survey.
2.4 Subject to certain exceptions (e.g., the personal information is necessary to provide the service or product, or the withdrawal of consent would frustrate the performance of a legal obligation), individuals can withhold or withdraw their consent for Mainstreet Research to use their personal information in certain ways.
2.5 We only collect personal information at the time a poll or survey is conducted. The information is anonymized, aggregated and reported on the whole. No individual response information is ever maintained, shared or reported.
Policy 3 – Using and Disclosing Personal Information
3.1 We will only use or disclose an individuals personal information where necessary to fulfill a regulatory request. Examples of these regulatory bodies and reasons for disclosure below.
- CRTC has received a complaint about one of our polls.
- Elections Canada (or Elections ON/BC/AB/SK/MB/QC/NB/NS/PE/NL) has received a complaint about one of our public opinion polls
3.2 We will not use or disclose an individuals personal information for any additional purpose.
3.3 We will not sell an individual’s personal information to other parties
Policy 4 – Retaining Personal Information
4.1 We retain an individual’s personal information only as long as necessary to fulfill legal requirements mandated by the CRTC.
Policy 5 – Securing Personal Information
6.1 We are committed to ensuring the security of an individual’s personal information in order to protect it from unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure, copying, modification or disposal or similar risks.
6.2 The following security measures will be followed to ensure that an individual’s personal information is appropriately protected:
- All survey and polls responses are encrypted and housed in a secure server for as long as required by law, 1 to 2 years depending on whether it is public opinion research conducted during an election period
- Only anonymized and aggregated data is provided to analysts for weighting and creating breakouts
- No staff or contractors have access the encrypted data. Only the President and Privacy Officer have access and would only ever access the data at the request of a regulatory body.
- The only personal information we collect is the responses provided by the individual
6.3 We will use appropriate security measures when destroying personal information. The server automatically deletes archive records depending on the time required by law. No paper records are ever created, all information is digital. Our server over -writes archived files to ensure permanent destruction of archives.
6.4 We will continually review and update our security policies and controls as technology changes to ensure ongoing personal information security.
Policy 7 – Providing Individuals Access to Personal Information
7.1 Individuals who have completed a survey have a right to access their personal information, subject to limited exceptions.
- Any data collected is destroyed after 1 year, 2 years if the survey was completed during an election
- Research data collected for aggregate purposes is not considered personal information in most jurisdictions. Accessing a single poll response would require the same information that is collected as it is anonymized, non identifiable information.
7.2 A request to access personal information must be made in writing and provide sufficient detail to identify the personal information being sought. The request must contain the following information.
- Phone Number, Email
- Exact time, date and method of survey completion (Phone, Online, App)
- The age category of the individual (18-34. 35 to 49, 50-64, 65+)
- The individuals gender or gender identity (male, female)
- A list of the questions that were asked and the responses provided
- Requests in writing can be sent to email@example.com
7.3 Upon request, we will inform individuals about our research standards which guarantees all data is anonymized and aggregated and that no personally identifiable information is ever used or stored for any reason except as required by applicable laws (CRTC, Elections Officials, etc).
7.4 We will make the requested information available within 30 business days, or provide written notice of an extension where additional time is required to fulfill the request.
7.5 A minimal fee may be charged for providing access to personal information. Where a fee may apply, we will inform the individual of the cost and request further direction from the individual on whether or not we should proceed with the request.
7.6 If a request is refused in full or in part, we will notify the individual in writing, providing the reasons for refusal and the recourse available to the individual.
Policy 8 – Questions and Complaints: The Role of the Privacy Officer or designated individual
8.1 The Privacy Officer is responsible for ensuring Mainstreet Research’s compliance with this policy and the Personal Information Protection Act.
8.2 Individuals should direct any complaints, concerns or questions regarding Mainstreet Research’s compliance in writing to the Privacy Officer. If the Privacy Officer is unable to resolve the concern, the individuals may also write to the Information and Privacy Commissioner. To contact our privacy officer please use our contact form and indicate your concern is privacy related.