Privacy Policy


Colmar Brunton as a member of the Association of Market and Social Research Organisation (“AMSRO”) respects and upholds your rights under the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (“Privacy Act”).  Colmar Brunton also adheres to the Privacy (Market and Social Research) Code 2014 (“Code”).  For more information about the Privacy Act, the Australian Privacy Principles and the Code visit

This Privacy Policy lets you know what personal information of yours we hold, what we do with it, who we will disclose it to and how you can access the personal information we hold about you. You can also find out here how to change inaccurate personal information and how to opt out of receiving communications from us.

This Privacy Policy will be reviewed from time to time to take into account revised legislation, industry standards, technology and changes to our operations and processes.

Colmar Brunton uses personal information only for research purposes.  This means that we use it to investigate the behaviour, needs, attitudes, opinions, motivations or other characteristics of a whole population or particular section of a population.

Definitions used in this Policy

‘Personal Information’ is information or opinions relating to an individual which can be used to identify that individual and has the same meaning as under the Privacy Act.

Some personal information is considered to be ‘Sensitive Information’.  Sensitive Information includes information relating to a person’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinion, membership of a political association or religious beliefs, membership of a trade union or professional or trade association, sexual preferences or practices, criminal record or health information.

What personal information about you does Colmar Brunton collect and hold?

The type of Personal Information we collect depends greatly on the nature of the research being undertaken or other purpose for that information.  Generally, information for research purposes include:

  • Demographics, such as name, contact details, age, gender, occupation, income;
  • Geographics, such as address, postcode;
  • Behaviour, such as what people do, what people use and why;
  • Needs, such as what people want or need in terms of products and services;
  • Attitudes, such as how people feel about things or opinions people have.

When providing personal information you have the option of remaining anonymous or to use a pseudonym to be identified by.  However, in certain circumstances, such as where we receive your contact details from a third party or where the research data itself may potentially allow for identification, this may not be practicable.

Sensitive information will only be collected with your prior consent and only if it is directly related to, or reasonably necessary for, the research we conduct.

How does Colmar Brunton collect and hold your personal information?

Colmar Brunton will generally collect your personal information directly from you in the course of you participating in our research whether for focus groups or in-depth interviews, over the telephone surveys, face to face surveys, surveys on the internet or other forms of research.  This information is provided voluntarily and sometimes individuals are paid to provide information about themselves.

However, we may also from time to time collect personal information about you from publicly available sources such as the telephone directory and from clients who hold information about people they would like us to conduct research with (for example customers or former customers).  In some cases we are provided with information about people from a third party (for example a person in a focus group or a reference source). If so, we will inform you as soon as practicable of this collection and the circumstances of this collection.

What are the purposes for which Colmar Brunton uses, handles and discloses your personal information?

We will only use and disclose your personal information for the purpose of conducting our research and in accordance with this Privacy Policy.  Market research that we conduct is ultimately designed to provide accurate and timely information to government, commercial and non-profit organisations about issues relevant to their activities to support their decision making processes, to help them provide better products and services to their customers, and to help public sector agencies provide better government services and policies.  What we do is designed to ultimately help create a better social and consumer environment.

All participation in the market research is voluntary.  We respect the right of people to withhold information or not to participate in research on the basis of privacy or perceived sensitivity.

To be able to undertake market research, we need to collect Personal Information in order to provide our services and meet contractual requirements.

We collect Personal Information about individuals’ needs, opinions, feelings, preferences, usage and behaviour.  We use this information to:

  • Recruit people for market research activities;
  • Research attitudes, needs, behaviour and other characteristics of a sample of a population or specific group;
  • Aggregate groups of people with similar characteristics;
  • Analyse similarities and differences between groups;
  • Contact past research participants or members of our consumer panels;
  • Undertake quality control procedures;
  • Communicate with panel members and potential research respondents;
  • Provide and improve our services and comply with our contractual obligations;
  • Market our services.

While we need individual information, the value of information we collect is normally based on the aggregated data rather than individual views.  Hence, most data we use is not identified as relating to any specific individual.

In rare instances (such as some business to business research) there is a requirement to identify specific individuals interviewed, and where this is required, the individual is told of this requirement in advance and able to decline being interviewed.

Personal Information we collect includes information about:

  • Consumers generally and members of the public about whom we may have been provided information;
  • Research respondents who have provided information to us or whom we have been provided with information about;
  • Our clients, their employees, clients, customers, suppliers, former customers, and competitors;
  • Our suppliers;
  • Prospective employees, employees, and contractors;

and any other people who may come into contact with Colmar Brunton.

We will not use or disclose your personally identifiable information for the purpose of advertising, promotions or direct marketing activities.  If you declined to participate in our research, we may use your personal information to re-contact you for a research purpose if we have valid reasons to believe a genuine research concern warrants such re-contact.  If you have participated in our research, we will only re-contact you if you were informed of this or we have valid reasons to believe a genuine research concern warrants such re-contact.

Who will Colmar Brunton disclose your personal information to?

We will not disclose any personally identifiable research information we collect from you unless we have your express prior consent and will only report the information you provide in an aggregate form that will not personally identify you. We will not disclose any personal information or personally identifiable research information to a third party for a purpose other than conducting our research unless we have your express prior consent or are required to do so by an Australian law or court/tribunal order.

In the course of conducting our research we may rely on third party service providers to host or store the data we collect who are located overseas. The name and location of our current overseas service provider is ANNIK who are based in India.  In most cases, this survey data and research information will not be personally identifiable. We will also take reasonable steps to ensure any service providers (and their employees and contractors) comply with the Privacy Act and this Privacy Policy and/or are subject to similar privacy laws and you have the ability to enforce those rights.

Colmar Brunton Website

When visiting Colmar Brunton’s website, the site server makes a record of the visit and logs the following information for statistical and administrative purposes:

  • the user’s server address – to consider the users who use the site regularly and tailor the site to their interests and requirements;
  • the date and time of the visit to the site – this is important for identifying the website’s busy times and ensuring maintenance on the site is conducted outside these periods;
  • pages accessed and documents downloaded – this indicates to Colmar Brunton which pages or documents are most important to users and also helps identify important information that may be difficult to find;
  • duration of the visit – this indicates to us how interesting and informative the Colmar Brunton site is to candidates;
  • the type of browser used – this is important for browser specific coding;
  • In order to optimize the Colmar Brunton website and better understand its usage, we collect the visiting domain name or IP address, Computer Operating System, Browser Type and Screen Resolution.

A cookie is a piece of information that an Internet website sends to your browser when you access information at that site. Cookies are either stored in memory (session cookies) or placed on your hard disk (persistent cookies). The Colmar Brunton website does not use persistent cookies. Upon closing your browser the session cookie set by this website is destroyed and no Personal Information is maintained which might identify you should you visit our website at a later date.

Security of Information

Colmar Brunton will take reasonable steps to protect your personally identifiable information as you transmit your information from your computer to our website and to protect such information from loss, misuse, and unauthorised access, use, modification, disclosure, alteration, or destruction.

However, you should keep in mind that the transmission of information over the Internet is not completely secure or error-free. In particular, e-mail sent to or from this website may not be secure, and you should therefore take special care in deciding what information you send to us via e-mail.

Retention and destruction of Personal Information

Colmar Brunton will destroy or de-identify your personal information as soon as practicable once it is no longer needed for the purpose for our research purposes. However, we may in certain circumstances be required by law to retain your personal information after our research has been completed.  In this case your personal information will continue to be protected in accordance with this Policy.  If we destroy personal information we will do so by taking reasonable steps and using up-to-date techniques and processes.

We use our best efforts to ensure that Personal Information is stored securely and not misused or disclosed in any unauthorised way.  We employ industry standard methods of data storage and security for both electronic and hard copy information, including restricting physical access to offices, as well as imposing firewalls and secure databases to keep personal information secure from misuse, loss or unauthorised use or disclosure.

Colmar Brunton takes reasonable measures to make sure that the personal information held is accurate and up-to-date.  We encourage members of our Consumer Panel to maintain their details using secure online access where practical.  Research respondents may ask us to destroy their personal information or to render it unidentifiable at an earlier date.

All Colmar Brunton employees are required to respect the confidentiality of personal information and the privacy of individuals.


You have the right to request access to any personal information we hold about you. You can request this information by contacting the Privacy Officer at the details listed below. Where we hold information that you are entitled to access, we will respond to your request in a reasonable time and endeavour to provide you with a suitable range of choices as to how access is provided (eg, emailing or mailing it to you). A fee may be charged to cover the cost of retrieval. However this fee will not be excessive and will only apply to the facilitation of your request.  If you make an access request, we will ask you to verify your identity and specify what information you require.

If at any time you believe that personal information we hold about you is incorrect, incomplete or inaccurate, then you may request amendment of it and we will either amend the information or make a record of your comment, as we think appropriate.

Questions and complaints

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy or believe that we have at any time failed to keep one of our commitments to you to handle your personal information in the manner required by the Privacy Act, the APPs or the Code, then we ask that you contact us immediately by emailing us at

We will respond and advise whether we agree with your complaint or not.  If we do not agree, we will provide reasons.  If we do agree, we will advise what (if any) action we consider it appropriate to take in response.  If you are still not satisfied after having contacted us and given us a reasonable time to respond, then we suggest that you contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner by:

Phone: 1300 363 992 (local call cost, but calls from mobile and pay phones may incur higher charges). If calling from overseas (including Norfolk Island): +61 2 9284 9749
TTY: 1800 620 241 (this number is dedicated to the hearing impaired only, no voice calls)
TIS: Translating and Interpreting Service: 131 450 (If you don’t speak English or English is your second language and you need assistance and ask for the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner)

Post: GPO Box 2999 Canberra ACT 2601

Fax: +61 2 9284 9666



This policy is effective from 12 March 2014. We may change this policy from time to time. Although we intend to observe this Privacy Policy at all times, it is not legally binding on Colmar Brunton in any way. From time to time we may regard it as necessary or desirable to act outside the policy.  Colmar Brunton may do so, subject only to any other applicable contractual rights you have and any statutory rights you have under the Privacy Act or other applicable legislation.