Privacy and Data Use Policy and Consent (U.S. Panel Members)
Each panelist should please be sure to read this Privacy Notice.
Thank you for agreeing to join our select group of panelists. For decades, Nielsen has set the standard for global market and consumer insight research. Our insights are based on representative samples of the population and help our clients (e.g., manufacturers, retailers, non-profits and governments) learn about what consumers watch, buy, their preferences and behaviors. Your participation in our panel helps us create our consumer insight solutions.
We take our panelists’ privacy very seriously. We have created this Privacy and Data Use Policy to help answer questions you may have about how we protect and use your information. If you have additional questions or concerns please contact your Nielsen Representative.
How to Contact Us
To contact us with a question, you can call us toll-free at 1-800-237-6493.
Or write to us at:
The Nielsen Company
501 Brooker Creek Blvd
Oldsmar, FL 34677
A. About children. For our research, we collect information about every member of your household and this would include any children in your household. If we collect information about children, we take special care. When we collect information online directly from very young children (under age 13), special regulations apply. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) requires that we get the verifiable, informed consent of the parent or guardian and we comply with this law. The parent or guardian may cancel this consent at any time. All of the other provisions of this policy apply to information about both adults and children of every age.
B. We protect the identities of our panelists. We will NOT use your personal identifying information to advertise, promote, or market goods or services directly to you and we do not allow our clients to market directly to you.
“Personally identifying information” means information by itself – like your first and last name, home postal address or personal email address – or in combination with other information could identify a specific individual.
When we contact you – by phone, email if you give it to us, or postal mail – we will do so for one of the following reasons: to validate answers you gave; to update our records to ensure your information is correct; to ensure that the equipment is working properly, or to offer you expanded research opportunities.
C. What information do we collect? Nielsen researches and measures consumers’ behavior. In order to create our research insights, we collect information in two ways:
Information you give us. When you become a panelist, you provide us with information such as your name and email address. You also provide us with demographic information such as gender, household income, and ethnicity. Through participation in our panels and surveys, we collect your behavior and preference data. “Behavior data” is when, why or how you do things such as watch TV, or use your computer or the Internet. “Preference data” means the choices you make such as which stations to watch or websites you visit. We also collect some data automatically. For example, our metering equipment attached to your television enables us to obtain an immediate report of your television viewing. It also collects information from electronic signals from television broadcasts. Our NetSight software on your computer comprehensively tracks activity on computers, whether offline or online or on the Internet. Our software encrypts the information (to help ensure its security) before it sends the information to us automatically over the Internet.
We also may use Internet technology, in addition to the metering software installed on your computer, to collect information. This information includes the type, name and use of some of the applications, files and hardware on this computer, the address and content of websites visited and the dates and duration of such visits, and the Internet Service Provider being used. We may be able to collect information contained in the title bar at the top of any window active on your computer, depending on the application. This might include the name of a website, the name of a file open on this computer, or the subject line of an open email. We cannot examine or use the text of any emails or instant messages, and we cannot read the content of any document open on your computer. Our servers log the standard non-personally-identifiable information that accompanies Internet transmissions, like the date and time of your visit, browser type and version, IP address, and operating system.
Information we get from other sources. After you join our panel, we collect additional information about you and your household. This may include information such as what you buy and where, and your exposure to advertising. We obtain this information from many sources. These include, for example,
- Census data,
- The manufacturers and sellers of the products you purchase or use,
- “Loyalty” programs (like those that offer rewards and points),
- Organizations that collect online data,
- Data suppliers,
- Companies that combine purchase information, and
- Other entities that have a legal right to provide such information to us.
D. How will we use the information you and other panelists provide us? We use the information we collect to create a variety of research insights for our clients. We use tools and methods to make sure that there is no reasonable possibility of identifying an individual panelist in the reports that we create for our clients. For example, we combine the responses we collect from you with the responses of others to produce “aggregated” reports. We also create scientific reports based upon modeled information. “Modeled information” is data we have developed based upon demographic and behavioral characteristics (like your gender, age, TV watching habits, web sites visited) to predict what people with similar or matching characteristics would watch or buy. This allows advertisers to identify the likely audience for a marketing campaign.
Our research insights help our clients make choices about where and how they advertise including on print, broadcast television, radio, online and mobile. Among other things, our solutions have helped clients:
- Understand which television programs appeal to female viewers
- Understand the makeup of the audience that was shown an advertisement while surfing the Internet or interacting with social media
- Identify the types of electronic products consumers in different demographic groups would be likely to buy
- Determine the audience that would be more likely to respond to a particular advertisement online, on a smartphone or tablet
- Whether residents in a particular neighborhood would be likely to shop at a specialty store if it was nearby
- What kinds of people viewed an advertisement on a social media site
E. Do you provide my personal identifying information to anyone? Occasionally we work with other companies for the purposes of data processing or market research product development purposes. They are contractually required to keep that information confidential and are not permitted to use this information for any other purpose except to carry out the services that they are performing for us. In accordance with market research guidelines, we may also provide individual level information to other companies. If we do, they are bound to keep the information confidential and use it only for research or statistical purposes. We will provide your information to a third party if the law requires it or if it allows us to exercise our legal rights or take action regarding potentially illegal activities, or to protect the safety or rights of any person or legal entity. If all or part of our company is sold, merged or otherwise transferred, we may transfer your information as part of that transaction and will take steps to ensure that your information is protected as described in this notice.
F. Participation is always voluntary. You may contact us if at any time you would like to see the personal identifying information we hold about you or your household. You can also ask us to correct or update this information, or contact us if you wish to stop your own or your household’s participation in our panel. You can reach us at the toll-free number and address that appear above.
G. How to update your profile if you get a new television or your household circumstances change. You may do so at any time by contacting your Nielsen representative.
H. Data retention and security. We store your information for as long as needed for our research and analyses purposes and in accordance with law. Your information may be stored in the United States or elsewhere but in any event will be stored using administrative, managerial and technical measures to protect its confidentiality. Please remember that storage and communication of personal data cannot always be one-hundred percent secure.
I. We may change this Privacy and Data Use Policy and our data collection and management practices. We reserve the right to update and make changes to this Policy and to our practices in collecting and handling personally identifying information. If we were to make a material change (the kind of change to the way we use your data that might make you reconsider participating in this panel) we will notify you and we will provide you with a copy at least 30 days prior to its implementation, giving you time to resign from the panel if you want. You may view the currently effective Privacy Notice at any time by contacting your Nielsen representative. Your continued participation in our panel after the effective date of any changes will constitute your acceptance of all effective changes.
J. About The Nielsen Company. The Nielsen Company (NYSE:NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement, trade shows and related assets. The company has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA. For more information on The Nielsen Company, visit www.nielsen.com.
K. This Notice replaces any other statement, whether written or oral, made to you about our practices with respect to the collection and use of personal identifying information.
THANK YOU – WE APPRECIATE AND VALUE YOUR PARTICIPATION!