Ipsos response to the Sunday Times

Ipsos issues a statement in response to today's article in the Sunday Times.

In response to the article published on 12th May 2013 by the Sunday Times, Ipsos absolutely refutes the suggestion that it is offering access to individual personal data for sale.

In the cutting edge research that Ipsos is doing with EE, the UK’s largest mobile operator, our mobile analytics explore user volume, demographics and mobile web use from anonymised and aggregated groups of people.

In conducting this research we only receive anonymised data without any personally identifiable information. We have taken every care to ensure it is being carried out in compliance with all relevant legal and regulatory requirements, including the Data Protection Act and Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations (both as amended).

In particular, we can make the following assurances:
  • Ipsos only receives anonymised data without any personally identifiable information on an individual customer. We do not have access to any names, personal address information, nor postcodes or phone numbers
  • We can see the volume of people who have visited a website domain, but we cannot see the detail of individual visits, nor what information is entered on that domain.
  • We only ever report on aggregated groups of 50 or more customers.
  • We will never release any data that in any way allows an individual to be identified.

On the day of the article, Ipsos approached the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to proactively assist them with any possible queries they may have received.  On Monday 13th May, in a statement given to TechWeekEurope, they were quoted as follows: “The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said the regulator would not be investigating the matter, as it had spoken to the companies and is convinced they are acting legally.” “We have spoken to Ipsos and Everything Everywhere who explained that the information being sold is anonymised and aggregated, and so should not allow for a specific individual to be directly or indirectly identified, in line with our ‘Anonymisation Code of Practice’ which provides guidance on managing data protection risk when anonymising data,” a spokesperson said. “We have no plans to take any further action at this stage.” If you have any queries, please contact Sara Gundry on 07825 534958 or Ben Page.

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