Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy Overview

The panel website, facilities, and your participation in the associated online opinion panel, community, forums, blogs, member generated polls, chat, etc. (“Panel”) is managed by Touchstone Research, Inc. and ChildResearch.com (a division of Touchstone Research, Inc..) an opinion research firm committed to the highest industry standards of excellence and integrity. Touchstone Research, Inc. builds and manages conducts online consumer panels and communities and conducts opinion surveys, community activities and various kinds of quantitative and qualitative research. Touchstone Research, Inc. (collectively with its affiliates, subsidiaries and divisions, "Touchstone Research" or “TSR” or "we" or "us") is firmly committed to protecting your privacy. This Privacy Policy explains in general terms how we collect, store, use, and disclose your Personal Information (as defined below) and certain other information that we receive from you. You can be assured your privacy and the confidentiality of your information is our top priority.

We govern our business and actions with sensitivity and respect. In online research, as with all other forms of research, we adhere to the highest industry standards. We strive to have a positive impact in all our dealings with panelists and other research participants to make their participation in research studies an enjoyable and meaningful one.

We have strict procedures for online research. Data is only reported in aggregate form—that is information about groups of people, not personally identifiable information. We do not, and will not sell personally identifiable data for other marketing efforts.

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes to this Privacy Policy, and we may (but are not required to) also email you, or put a notice on our home page and other places we deem appropriate so that you are aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. We reserve the right to modify this Privacy Policy at any time, for any reason, at our sole discretion, so please review it frequently. Once we have posted the changes on the website those changes become effective immediately and if you use the website or continue to participate in the Panel after they 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.

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

The complete Privacy & Safety Policy is detailed below. 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./ChildResearch.com
500 East Main Street
Suite 322
Branford, CT 06405
Attention: Panel Privacy Policy

top

Touchstone Research, Inc. Conducts Marketing Research Only

We are an independent marketing research firm. We do not make or sell any other product or service and are not affiliated with any sales organization.Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com does not sell anything to panelists or members of their household. Panel surveys are not sales efforts, no Panel participant at this or any other Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com Panel will ever be asked to buy anything because of their participation in one of our research Panels.

top

What Information We Collect and How It Is Used

This policy applies to all information collected or submitted on the Panel website. 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).

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)

We will never share the personally identifiable information provided to us without first obtaining explicit permission from the panelist to do so, and giving them an opportunity to opt out or otherwise prohibit such unrelated uses except Touchstone Research, Inc. /ChildResearch.com may share information with a fulfillment (mailing) house in order to send gifts or prizes to panelists, or to vendors or subcontractors engaged in data management/processing or working on studies on behalf of or in collaboration with Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com. Any fulfillment house, subcontractor or other vendor Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com works with on Panel studies or activities will agree to be bound by equivalent privacy rules and restrictions contained in this policy. In the event of a sale of all or part of our business, we may share personally identifiable information with the buyer. We may also share information if we believe we are legally obligated to do so, to protect ourselves or our members, or to otherwise assist government or law enforcement. We may also share information 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). TSR may also disclose your personal information to third parties where it has your express permission to do so, or where it can reasonably be inferred from the circumstances that you consent to the disclosure to the third parties. We may also disclose account information in special cases when we have reason to believe that disclosing this information is necessary to identify, contact or bring legal action against someone who may be violating our Terms of Use or may be causing injury to or interference with (either intentionally or unintentionally) Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com's rights or property, other Panel users, or anyone else that could be harmed by such activities. We may disclose or access account information when we believe in good faith that the law requires it and for administrative and other purposes that we deem necessary to maintain, service, and improve our products and services.

We may also use information you submit or that we maintain about you or other household members to tailor your and their experience at our sites. We retain personally identifiable information for as long as necessary for our legitimate business purposes, and as otherwise permitted by applicable law.

**WE DO NOT COLLECT PERSONAL IDENTITY INFORMATION SUCH AS, DRIVER LICENSE, SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER OR FINANCIAL DATA SUCH AS BANK ACCOUNTS, CREDIT CARDS.

The Panel site provides all panelists the opportunity to access personally identifiable information about themselves by calling our 800 number (1-800-409-2665), or by using the Contact Us or sending a letter to the mail address listed above, 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.

top

Data Security

To prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and ensure the correct use of information, we have put in place what we believe to be appropriate 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.

Your Panel Account Information Registration and Profile are password-protected. We recommend that you do not divulge your password to anyone. We will never ask you for your password in an unsolicited phone call or in an unsolicited email. Also, remember to sign out of your Panel account and close your browser window when you have finished your work. This is to ensure that others cannot access your personal information and correspondence if you share a computer with someone else or are using a computer in a public place like a library or Internet cafe.

Whenever Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com handles personal information as described above, regardless of where this occurs, Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com takes steps to ensure that your information is treated securely and in accordance with the relevant Terms of Use/Panelist Agreement and this Privacy Policy.

Although we take reasonable precautions to protect the information we collect on this site, we cannot be responsible for unauthorized access to such information, or theft, destruction or inadvertent disclosure of such information. We cannot guarantee that the information we collect will remain secure. The Internet by its nature is a public medium, and we encourage you to use caution when disclosing information online. Unfortunately, no data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. As a result, while we strive to protect your personal information, Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com 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. Once we receive your transmission, we make our best effort to ensure its security on our systems.

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.

top

Cookies, Logs & Digital Finger Printing

Cookies may sometimes be used. Cookies are small information files that are placed on your computer when you visit a website. Cookies that we place on your computer can be accessed only by Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com

We use cookies to 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. Additionally, cookies are used to facilitate surveys including preventing individual users from taking any given survey more than one time.

Cookies may be disabled on your computer by indicating this 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.

Our 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 and the 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.

In general, digital fingerprinting technologies assign a unique identifier or “Machine-ID” to a user’s computer to identify and track the computer. Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com may use digital fingerprinting technology in a professional and ethical manner and in accordance with Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com's Privacy Policy, for quality control purposes and to help prevent survey fraud (completing the same online survey many times). Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com will not use digital fingerprinting technology to collect personal information, or track the online activities, of the user of a computer; and will not disrupt or interfere with the use or control of a computer or alter, modify or change the settings or functionality of a computer. The technology will 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 quality control purposes only, Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com (i) may link or associate your unique identifier to you and any of your personal information; (ii) may share your unique identifier with Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com’s clients and with other sample or panel providers; and (iii) may 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. Any unique identifier(s) received or obtained by Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com and linked to a specific individual will be protected in accordance with this privacy policy.

top

PARENT PANELISTS: General Online Safety Information for Parents

The safety and privacy of children and their families is of paramount importance. We adhere to all applicable federal, state and local laws regarding research with children and protect the privacy and other rights of all participants in our research projects. We comply with all the requirements of the Children’s Online Privacy Act (“COPPA”).

Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com recommends that concerned parents and guardians go with their kids to Nickelodeon's excellent guide to safe online behavior at:
http://www.nick.com/blab/safety/index.jhtml.

This is a well-written guide that kids will understand. Here are some other links containing useful information (Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com is not responsible for the privacy practices of any linked site):

http://www.safeKids.com
SafeKids.com offers a handy list of 10 kids rules for online safety, specifically aimed at preteens. They focus on building trust between parents and kids. Some of the key concepts for kids include telling a parent if they come across information that makes them feel uncomfortable, not giving out personal information, not agreeing to meet with someone they've met online, not sending images, setting up rules with parents about going online, and being a good online citizen.

top

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/legal guardians who are registered Panelists will receive notifications if there is a study/survey, community or other Panel activity a family member may qualify for and the parent/legal guardian will decide if they wish to permit that family member’s participation. 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. Study/survey invitations may be personalized (at the parent’s option) for a child but they will be sent to the registered parent/legal guardian panelist email address and/or posted to the account the parent/legal guardian controls. A pseudonym may be used in lieu of the child’s real name. 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 permission of a parent or legal guardian.

top

PARENT PANELISTS: Parental/Guardian Consent

Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com requires the consent of parents or legal guardians before any communication with children under age 13. A parent or legal guardian must first give permission.

Before collecting personal information from such child, Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com obtains consent from the child’s parent or legal guardian. Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com will not knowingly collect any information from any child under age 13 without permission from his/her parents or legal guardian.

Parents or guardians who are registered Panelists may choose to add or remove their child’s first name for personalization purposes at any time by logging in and using the “My Household” link or end their participation permanently also by using the “Cancel Membership” link, or either via email by using the Contact Us or by calling 800-409-2665.

Parents, guardians and children have rights under C.O.P.P.A. The Panel site provides all panelists including parents and guardians the opportunity to access personally identifiable information about themselves and their child(ren) and households by calling our 800 number (1-800-409-2665), or by using the Contact Us or sending a letter to the mail address listed above, they can review the personal information about their child(ren) and households, update, correct or delete the data, or indicate that they wish to withdraw permission for their children to participate. You may be asked to verify your identity, including by providing your child’s name and your full name or email address. There are no costs to you for exercising your right to access your or your child’s personal information, or to request further information on our Privacy Policy or practices.

top

PARENT PANELISTS: We Do NOT have Open “Chat Rooms”

We don't host public “chat rooms”, so parents and legal guardians do not need to have any concerns about someone not associated with Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com trying to contact their kids in a chat session on this website.

If we want to have instant dialogue with our panelists we most often will use our chat based feature with built-in security and privacy protection or we will use other community tools such as discussion forums.

If we do conduct chat sessions or discussion forums or the like in which several kids can discuss issues in real time they will be closed, invitation only sessions and a child may only participate with the parent’s permission. If we do conduct these activities we will follow these policies:

1. We will inform participants not to disclose their full names, addresses, or other personal information. Moderators will avoid asking questions that would require a participant to divulge personally identifiable information, and will warn any participant who volunteers such information to stop.

2. Only Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com employees, clients, other vendors or sub-contractors of Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com who have agreed to abide all Touchstone Research, Inc./ChildResearch.com privacy standards will be allowed to participate in these sessions. The dialogue (without personally identifiable information) from these survey sessions may be read by clients or sub-contractors of Touchstone Research, Inc. both in real time and after the fact.

top