Privacy Policy
Coverage: outlines how Essential collects and uses personal information and an individual’s rights relating to the handling of that personal data.
Essential Media Communications Respects Your Privacy

Essential Media Communications (Essential) (ACN 074 671 462) is committed to protecting your privacy. We are bound by the Privacy Act 1988, and comply with our obligations under the Australian Privacy Principles.

We are also a member of the Association of Market and Social Research Organisations (AMSRO), and adhere to the Privacy (Market and Social Research) Code 2014 (the Code) in relation to the activities of Essential Research. A copy of the Code is available here.

Your Personal Information

Personal information is any information about you from which you can be identified, like your name or email address.

Direct collection

We collect personal information from you when you participate in our market and social research projects, sign up to a campaign we are managing, contact us to enquire about our services or agree to work with us.

Personal information we collect about you might include your name, age, contact details, and research data such as your preferences, survey responses, and market research polling answers.

Where we can, we will collect this information from you directly, for example when you complete our questionnaires, surveys or polls, participate in our focus groups or actively sign up to a campaign website.

Indirect collection

Sometimes we receive your information from our clients who have asked us to conduct research for them. Where this is the case, we will take steps to make sure it is clear that you have consented to us receiving your information in that way.

We may collect general information about you when you use our website. This might include your IP address, the browser and operating system you are using, and related information. The information we collect from you in this way is aggregated and anonymous, and will not be used to personally identify you.

We also use cookies, which are small data files placed on your computer that allow our websites to “remember you” when you return to our site. Cookies help you to move between web pages smoothly, and generally make for a better user experience. They do not allow us or any other website to access personal information stored on your computer. If you want to prevent cookies being used, you can easily change your browser settings to disable cookies. However, some of the features of our websites may not function properly as a result.

Sensitive information

In the instance of a research project and depending on the scope of the research we are conducting, we may also collect sensitive information from you, such as information about your political views and opinions, health information, lifestyle factors, etc. Sensitive information also includes information about your race or ethnicity, your sexual orientation, your religious or philosophical beliefs, your political affiliations and membership of trade unions and associations. Before we collect sensitive information from you, we will make sure we have your consent, and we will only collect this kind of information from you if we absolutely need to for our research. We have strict practices and procedures in place to ensure that sensitive information is not used or disclosed other than for the purposes for which we have collected it.

How We Use Your Information

We collect, hold, use and disclose personal information to:

Conduct qualitative market and social research projects, both on our own initiative and on behalf of our clients;
Report our findings from our research projects to our clients;
Assist our clients to develop targeted communications campaigns based on our research;
Engage with you on campaign outcomes and developments;
Publish the weekly Essential Report; and
Contact you further about our research projects, polls and campaigns in the future.
We may communicate with you via such means as email, post, SMS, telephone, mobile or other technology.

Disclosure to Third Parties

We disclose your personal information to third parties only for the purposes set out in this policy. We may disclose your personal information to our third party service providers (for example, our IT service providers and database contractors), related organisations including our sister organisation Essential Research, and our clients where they have asked us to conduct research or campaigns on their behalf. The research and campaign data we disclose to our clients is usually aggregated and anonymous, and we will not personally identify you in our research reports unless you have given your consent for us to do so.

We will not disclose your personal information for the purpose of advertising, or direct marketing of third party goods and services.

Essential is an Australian company, however some of our service providers are located overseas, including in the United States and Singapore. Before we disclose your information to our overseas service providers, we will take all reasonable steps to ensure that they comply with the Australian Privacy Principles, and only use your information for the purposes outlined in this Policy. You consent to us disclosing your personal information to overseas recipients on that basis.

We may need to disclose your personal information to a person or authority if we are required to do so by law.

Your Choices

Participating in our research projects or campaigns we conduct for our clients is entirely voluntary, and you can choose to provide us with as little or as much information about yourself as you like. However, if you do not provide us with certain information, it may limit how we interact with you. Where practicable, we will give you the option to use a pseudonym, or remain anonymous when participating in our research projects.

If you no longer wish to receive information from us about our research projects and campaigns, you can always opt out. If you are receiving email communications from us, there will be a mechanism to opt out contained in each of those emails. To stop receiving communications from us, please contact us via any of the channels listed in this policy.

Access to Your Information

We do our best to make sure that any information we hold about you is accurate, up-to-date and complete, and you have a right to access the information we hold about you. If you believe we are holding information about you that is inaccurate, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading, you can ask us to correct it. However, it is important that we maintain the integrity of our research data, and depending on the nature of the research, we may need to keep a complete record of the information as it was at the time of collection. If this is the case, we will provide you with a written statement explaining our reasons for declining your request, and make sure you are aware of how you can make a complaint, if you want to.

You can ask us to destroy or permanently de-identify any research information we hold about you, and we will only refuse your request in exceptional circumstances.

If you would like to access your personal information, or request for us to update, correct or delete your personal information, you can do so by contacting us via any of the channels listed below. We will do our best to respond to your request within 30 days.

Security

Essential holds your personal information electronically, both on our own servers, and with the assistance of our service providers.

We are committed to keeping your personal information secure, and have a range of technical systems and procedural safeguards in place to ensure your personal information is protected.

When we no longer need to hold your personal information, we will take steps to destroy it, or permanently de- identify it. Research information about you will be destroyed or permanently de-identified once the purpose of the research has been achieved.

Change of Control

If there is a change of control or structure of Essential, for instance through sale, merger, reorganisation, etc., we may transfer your personal information as part of that change. However, the use of your personal information will continue to be governed by the terms of this Privacy Policy, and only used in the ways described herein.

Changes to this policy

We may change the terms of this Privacy Policy from time to time. If we do so, we will post the changes here. By continuing to use our sites and services, you will be deemed to have accepted any changes we make.

Complaints

If you believe that Essential has breached the Australian Privacy Principles, or you have a complaint about how your personal information is being handled, you should contact us via any of the channels listed below.

We take your complaints seriously, and will attempt to resolve the issue quickly and fairly.

If we cannot resolve your complaint to a satisfactory standard, you are entitled to lodge your complaint with the Privacy Commissioner, or his successor:

http://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/making-a-privacy-complaint

Contact Us

If you have any questions or complaints about how we handle your personal information, or if you would like to request access to your personal information, please contact us at:

Research Privacy Officer: Kate Whelan: kate.whelan@essentialmedia.com.au (03) 9929 9907

Digital Privacy Officer: Kim Harlow: kimberley.harlow@essentialmedia.com.au (02) 8280 9117

Chief Executive Officer: Damian Smith: damian.smith@essentialmedia.com.au (02) 8280 9110

Terms of Policy:

All staff must adhere to the policy as outlined above.
The implementation and maintenance of this policy is the responsibility of the CEO.

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