What personal information do we collect from the people that visit our blog, website or app?
When registering on our site you will be asked to enter your first name, last name, email address, username and bio to help you with your experience participating in focus groups or creating your own focus groups. Note that only your first name, last name and email address are required in order to register for the service.
To protect your identity and be in compliance with the market research industry code of ethics, your email address and full last name are never revealed to your fellow focus group participants and/or observers (i.e., those that can watch a focus group, but do not participate). Only the first letter of your last name is ever shown to other focus group participants and/or observers, to help distinguish individuals that have the same first name. However, your name and email address is visible to the moderator for the express purpose of enabling the moderator to administer honorariums (rewards) to focus group participants. If a focus group is marked as "anonymous," the moderator also cannot see this information to ensure your complete anonymity.
As a FocusGroupIt customer you may provide billing information (e.g., credit card number, billing address, expiration date, card security code) if you choose to upgrade your account to any one of our paid plans. We do not store your credit card information on our servers, and use a third-party service (Stripe.com) as a credit card processor.
When do we collect information?
We collect information from you when you register on our site, fill out a form (e.g., when registering or creating a focus group) or enter information on our site (e.g., when participating in a focus group, when upgrading your account).
How do we use your information?
We may use the information we collect from you when you register, sign up for an account, create a focus group, participate in a focus group, moderate a focus group, observe a focus group, respond to email communications related to a focus group, surf the website, or use certain other site features in the following ways:
- To display information provided in the context of a focus group discussion (e.g., replies with focus group topics).
- To personalize a user's experience and to allow us to deliver the type of content in which you are most interested.
- To administer a focus group or other site feature.
- To send periodic emails regarding your account and/or the focus groups you are part of.
- To manage the distribution of participant honorariums (rewards).
Is my information anonymous when I am participating in a focus group?
There are two types of focus groups on FocusGroupIt - anonymous groups and non-anonymous groups. Both types provide varying degree of protection of your personally identifiable information (though by default you always have the protections described previously in this document). Below is a description of each type of focus group:
- Anonymous Focus Groups - The creator of a FocusGroupIt focus group has the option to mark their focus group as "anonymous," which will be prominently denoted on the pages that you see when you sign up for an "anonymous" focus group. If you participate in an "anonymous" focus group, you will be assigned a username for the group that corresponds to when you signed up (e.g., "Participant 1", "Participant 2", etc.). The focus group moderator(s), other participants and observers will NEVER see any of the information you provided when registering initially (e.g., first name, last name, email address, username, bio), for as long as you choose to participate in that group (and for as long as the group ever exists). The focus group moderator(s) and observers will also be unable to associate your comments with your real identity or IP address in exported data (transcripts) from the focus group discussion. Once a group is marked as anonymous, the creator of that group is unable to ever change the group to not be anonymous, to further ensure that your anonymity is never compromised.
- Non-Anonymous Focus Groups - If you participate in a focus group that is NOT set as "anonymous" by the focus group creator, you are still provided with a level of anonymity while participating in the sense that you can choose a username and that is what will be displayed to other participants alongside each comment you post. If you decide not to choose a username during (or after) registration, only your first name and the first letter of your last name will be displayed alongside your comments in the focus group. Please note that while the other participants in the focus group will see your chosen username, the moderator(s) of the focus group will be able to see your full name when you participate in a non-anonymous focus group. In addition, the moderator(s) of a non-anonymous focus group are able to export a file with your email address, which they are only permitted to use for the purpose of administering incentives (e.g., gift cards) as a "thank you" for participating in a focus group.
If you have any questions about how anonymity works, please email us directly at [email protected]
Is my information ever sold or rented to a third party?
No. FocusGroupIt does not sell or rent customer or focus group participant information to any third-party advertisers or marketers. FocusGroupIt provides a platform for collecting feedback online in exchange for subscription access fees paid by FocusGroupIt customers, and as such does not have a business model that relies on selling data to third parties. Please note, however, that as a participant in a focus group the person running your group controls the responses, and as such may sell or share your responses. You are responsible for checking with the person running your focus group to learn how they intend to use the data you share in the group.
Do I ever have to pay to participate in a focus group?
No. Please email us immediately at [email protected] if you are ever asked to pay to participate in a focus group on FocusGroupIt.com.
Can I get paid to participate in a focus group?
From time-to-time, the creator/moderator of a focus group may choose to offer an incentive for people to participate in their focus group. FocusGroupIt is not responsible for the setup, management or distribution of incentives for focus groups on the site. Please contact the moderator of the focus group(s) you are involved in for further information related to the incentive for participating in the focus group.
Do we use 'cookies' or log files?
In addition, like most web sites we gather certain information automatically and store it in log files. This information includes IP (Internet Protocol) addresses, browser type, internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp and clickstream data. We use this information to analyse trends, to administer our site, to track users' movements around our site and to gather demographic information about our user base as a whole.
- Understand and save a user's preferences for future visits.
- Compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interactions in order to offer better site experiences and tools in the future. We may also use trusted third party services (e.g., Google Analytics) that track this information on our behalf.
You can choose to have your computer warn you each time a cookie is being sent, or you can choose to turn off all cookies. You do this through your browser (like Internet Explorer) settings. Each browser is a little different, so look at your browser's Help menu to learn the correct way to modify your cookies.
What happens if you disable cookies?
If you disable cookies, some features will be disabled. It will turn off some of the features that make your site experience more efficient and some of our services (e.g., posting to focus group discussions, creating focus groups and creating questions to be asked in focus groups, sorting the order of questions you have created or answered) will not function properly.
Third Party Disclosure
We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. This does not include sharing select information with website hosting partners and other parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or servicing you, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others' rights, property, or safety.
However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses. For example, we may release information on our overall site statistics for marketing purposes. This non-personally identifiable visitor information is only shared at an aggregate level.
Third party links
We do not include or offer third party products or services directly on our website. However, each focus group is run independently by organizations (customers of FocusGroupIt, LLC) that may not be directly affiliated with FocusGroupIt. In these focus groups you may be solicited with offers for third-party products or services, which FocusGroupIt will not be aware of. FocusGroupIt does not endorse these third-party products and services posted in focus groups not directly run by FocusGroupIt.
Staff access to information
FocusGroupIt.com is hosted within Amazon.com's secure data centers using Amazon Web Services (AWS). Additional technical support and hosting services are provided by Heroku.com. More information about the AWS infrastructure and security policies can be found at https://aws.amazon.com/security, while information on Heroku's infrastructure and security policies can be found at https://www.heroku.com/policy/security.
In addition to the security provided via Amazon.com's infrastructure, FocusGroupIt.com uses a security and content delivery solution provided by CloudFlare to provide additional security protections against a range of potential threats, including cross site scripting and DDoS attacks, SQL injection, comment spam, excessive bot crawling and email harvesting.
All information transferred to and from FocusGroupIt.com (including unauthenticated pages) are secured by end-to-end 128 bit SSL connections via GlobalSign Organization Validation CA. Backups of our production database are made automatically on a daily basis and retained for 7 days, after which point they are automatically deleted.
Google's advertising requirements can be summed up by Google's Advertising Principles. They are put in place to provide a positive experience for users. https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/1316548?hl=en
We have not enabled Google AdSense on our site, but reserve the right to do so in the future.
California Online Privacy Protection Act
According to CalOPPA we agree to the following:
- Users can visit our site anonymously
Users are able to change their personal information:
- By logging in to their account. To login to your account, visit https://www.focusgroupit.com, and click on the link to "Sign-In" in the header of the website. To sign-in, enter the email address and password you used to register. On the page that follows signing-in, click on your username on the right-hand side of the header. To change your first name, last name, username, profile picture and/or bio, select the option for "Your Profile" from the menu. To change your email address or password, select the option for "Your Account" from the menu.
How does our site handle do not track signals?
We don't honor do not track signals and do not track, plant cookies, or use advertising when a Do Not Track (DNT) browser mechanism is in place. We don't honor them because:
- Capabilities do not currently exist to track signals.
Does our site allow third party behavioral tracking?
It's also important to note that we do not allow third party behavioral tracking
COPPA (Children Online Privacy Protection Act)
When it comes to the collection of personal information from children under 13, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) puts parents in control. The Federal Trade Commission, the nation's consumer protection agency, enforces the COPPA Rule, which spells out what operators of websites and online services must do to protect children's privacy and safety online.
We do not specifically market to children under 13.
CAN SPAM Act
The CAN-SPAM Act is a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have emails stopped from being sent to them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.
We collect your email address in order to:
- Send information related to your account and/or the focus groups you are part of, respond to inquiries (e.g., for customer or focus group participant support), and/or other requests or questions. If you decide to run a focus group, we may from time-to-time email you with information related to new features, how-to and assistance/advice and (very occasionally) company news. This information is never sent to focus group participants. You may unsubscribe at any time from these focus group moderator-related communications.
To be accordance with CANSPAM we agree to the following:
- NOT use false, or misleading subjects or email addresses
- Identify the message as an advertisement in some reasonable way
- Include the physical address of our business or site headquarters
- Monitor third party email marketing services for compliance, if one is used.
- Honor opt-out/unsubscribe requests quickly
- Allow users to unsubscribe by using the link at the bottom of each email
If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, you can:
- Follow the instructions at the bottom of each email; or
- Email us at [email protected]
Access to personal information
To request access to personal information that we hold about you, we require that you submit your request in writing at the e-mail address or postal address shown below (in Contacting us). You may be able to access your personal information and correct, amend or delete it where it is inaccurate, except as follows:
- Providing access to your personal information would be likely to reveal personal information about others;
- Disclosing the information would reveal the confidential commercial information of a FocusGroupIt customer or its clients.
- The burden or expense of providing access would be disproportionate to the risks to your privacy in the case in question.
- We will endeavour to provide your requested personal information within 30 days of receiving your access request. If we cannot fulfil your request, we will provide you with a written explanation of why we had to deny your access request.
250 Mill Street, Suite #311
Rochester, NY 14614
Last Edited on 2016-12-14