Personal Identifiable Information (PII for short) refers to an any personal information that one would be able to use to contact you for example, a last name, an address, email or phone number. PII is among the most important pieces of information handled by marketers.
Marketing teams are no strangers to being in possession of sensitive data, and that is especially true in Market Research. Whether it be a new concept for a product or a yet-to-be unveiled logo for a company, Marketers are taught to use the utmost caution when handling all sensitive data.
The primary reason for this importance other’s personal information is that PII can easily be shared via the Internet/Dark Web. In fact, Yale professor of astronomy Gregory Laughlin believes the internet may have the capacity to reach the speed of light (186,411 miles per second) with further development making the sharing of PII even more important.
Take the following steps to protect the PII of all prospective participants. Observation Baltimore handles all data using these steps to ensure the safety of participants:
- Abide by Market Research Society Code of Ethics
- Redact participants’ last names from all internal and shared documents
- Use Zip Codes as opposed to addresses to identify geography
- Request written permission from participants before sharing any PII information, such as their email or phone number
- Require that all parties destroy sensitive information at the conclusion of research
To take a further step in protecting your information online we recommend:
- Use encryption services (available with most VPNs)
- Limit or eliminate use of public Wi-Fi
- Protect your home network by sharing only with pertinent people
- Make sure links and attachments you open are from a trusted source
- Use two-step authentication
- Use strong passwords
Protecting PII is ethical. At Observation Baltimore, integrity is the rationale for our existence!