About this privacy policy

This privacy policy has been compiled to better serve those who are concerned with how their personal information is being used online. "Personal information" is information that can be used on its own or with other information to identify, contact, or locate a single person, or to identify an individual in context. Please read this privacy policy carefully to get a clear understanding of how we collect, use, protect or otherwise handle your personal information in accordance with our website.

We may periodically update this policy. We will notify you about significant changes in the way we treat personal information by sending a notice to the primary email address specified when you registered for this site. It is strongly recommended that you check this page periodically when you visit our website, referring to the date of the last time we modified the policy (on the bottom of this page).

What personal information do we collect from the people that visit our website and application?

When registering on our site you will be asked for your first name, last name, email address, username, bio and profile picture 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 - a username, bio and profile picture are not required to participate.

As a FocusGroupIt customer (i.e., someone who pays to run focus groups on this website) you may also be asked to provide additional personal information in the form of billing information (e.g., credit card number, billing address, expiration date, card security code). You will only be asked to provide this information if you choose to upgrade your account to any one of our paid products or annual subscription plans. We do not store your credit card information on our servers, and instead use a third-party service (Stripe.com) as a secure, PCI-compliant credit card processor.

Note for EU Residents: Per GDPR requirements, our customers are required to get explicit consent to collect additional personal information if their group has any likelihood of including EU residents. The personal information being requested in these focus groups will vary according to the topics, so we are unable to outline that in advance in this Privacy Policy. If you live in the EU and do not see a consent notice upon registering for a focus group on this site (or do not feel that the information provided is sufficient), please email us at [email protected] so that we can contact the data controller (our customer) and notify them of the issue.

What personal information do we collect automatically?

In addition to the personal information that we collect from you directly, there is additional personal information that is collected automatically. This includes your IP address, which is displayed in our application log files for no longer than 1500 lines of logging or 1 week (whichever happens sooner). We do not record/store your IP address in our database, nor is it ever directly associated with your user account. This information is only used to help monitor and resolve technical issues.

We also automatically collect information regarding frequency that you access the service, the last time you signed in, the device you are using to access the service, the server on which the service operates and your internet service provider or mobile network. This processing is necessary for the legitimate interest of monitoring and resolving issues with the service.

When do we collect or process personal information?

We collect or process 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 and/or when upgrading your account). We also collect or process information if you choose to upgrade a focus group you are conducting to a paid version of the software, and/or upgrade your account to an annual paid plan to conduct multiple focus groups over the course of the year.

Why do we collect or process personal information?

Personal information is necessary to facilitate discussion among participants, moderators and/or observers in an online focus group. Without the ability to collect the personal information outlined above, our website would be unable to fulfill its intended purpose (i.e., to facilitate a discussion among people in an online focus group).

How do we use your personal 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 (replies, comments, media) provided in the context of a focus group discussion.
  • To personalize your experience and to allow us to deliver the type of content in which you are interested.
  • To send necessary emails regarding your account and/or the focus groups you are part of.
  • To manage the distribution of participant honorariums (rewards) on behalf of a customer.
  • To provide technical support to customers and focus group participants.
  • To administer a focus group or other site feature.

How can you update or delete your personal information?

We have created a "Your Data" page that shows you all of the personal information that we have for your account at that very moment. We also have a "Your Account" page that enables you to view and change basic personal information (e.g., first name, last name, email, bio, username and profile picture) that was collected during registration. You can access these pages at any time by following these instructions:

  1. Sign-in to your account here: https://focusgroupit.com/session/new
  2. Click on your username (located in the upper-right corner of every page on the website after you login)
  3. Click "Your Account" if you would like to update your email, name, username, bio or profile picture; or
  4. Click "Your Data" if you would like to view all personal information we have collected from your account

If you ever want us to update or delete the information displayed on the "Your Data" page, please email us at [email protected] and we will do so within 30 days of the initial request.

Note that if you do not want to sign-in to view this information and instead want us to just delete the information we have on file for you (along with your entire account), please email us at [email protected] and we will do so within 30 days of the initial request.

How long is your personal information retained?

If you have not signed in within a period of 2 years our system will automatically delete your account and all related personal information. If you wish to prevent this from happening, simply login to the site on a regular basis using the link below:

https://focusgroupit.com/session/new

Each time you login you will "reset" the 2 year auto-deletion timer. We will notify you by email 15-days before your account is set to be automatically deleted to ensure you have sufficient time to prevent automatic deletion.

As a creator/moderator of a focus group, how long is the information in your focus group(s) retained?

Your focus group will be automatically deleted if there has not been any activity in the focus group over the past 90 days. "Activity" is defined as any new replies posted in that focus group. You will receive an email automatically from our system 15 days before your group is scheduled to be deleted to give you sufficient time

If you wish to retain your focus group(s) for longer than 90 days, please email us at [email protected]

NOTE: In order for us to allow longer data retention periods on a case-by-case basis, you will need to verify that the participants in your focus group are not from the EU, as General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in the EU prevents us from storing personal information for longer than is deemed reasonable and necessary. We consider 90 days past the conclusion of the focus group to be sufficient time to analyze the findings.

Am I anonymous when participating in a focus group?

There are two types of focus groups on FocusGroupIt - anonymous groups and non-anonymous groups - and the level of personal information visible to other people in the focus group varies according to the type of group.

Both anonymous and non-anonymous focus groups provide varying degree of protection of your personal information (though by default you always have the protections described elsewhere in this Privacy Policy).

Below is a description of anonymous and non-anonymous focus groups and the ways that your personal information is protected in each type of 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 (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 for our service initially (e.g., first name, last name, email address, username, bio and profile picture), 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 in any exported data (e.g., transcripts, participation reports) 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 in that focus group 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 is able to export a file with your full name and email address, which our Terms of Service only permits them to use for the purpose of administering honorariums (e.g., gift cards) as a "thank you" for participating in a focus group.

You will know if you are about to participate in an anonymous focus group because the website will display a message notifying you that it is an anonymous focus group before you join. If you do not see a message about anonymity before participating in a focus group, you are about to participate in a non-anonymous focus group.

If you have any questions about how anonymity works, please email us directly at [email protected]

How is your personal information secured?

The FocusGroupIt website and application is hosted at Heroku.com, with additional hosting and storage provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS). 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 Heroku and AWS, 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. Data is encrypted while at rest. Backups of our production database are made automatically on a daily basis and retained for 7 days, after which point they are automatically deleted.

Where is your personal information processed/stored?

FocusGroupIt is located in the United States, and most/all of the third party services we use store/process data in the United States as well. As such, the personal information you share on this site may be transferred to countries other than the one in which you live. All of the providers we use for the purposes of processing or storing your personal information have self-certified with the EU-US Privacy Shield. Please see the list of third-party providers in this Privacy Policy (below) for a complete list of these providers.

Who from the FocusGroupIt organization will have access to your personal information?

Selected FocusGroupIt staff that have a clear justification for accessing personal information will only access your account information to provide technical or administrative support, and to the least extent needed to solve a technical or administrative issue. We will not disseminate or share data other than you have directed, in accordance with the policies outlined in this Privacy Policy and our Terms of Service. All staff members and/or contractors have signed non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements, and have been instructed on how to handle personal information to comply with relevant guidelines and regulations.

Is my personal 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 software access fees paid by FocusGroupIt customers, and as such does not have a business model that relies on selling the personal data of our users to third parties. Your personal information is only shared with third parties for the purposes of providing the services as outlined in this Privacy Policy.

Is my personal information ever shared with a third party?

We may share selected personal information with third-party service providers 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.

In addition, 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.

Which third parties may receive my personal information in order to provide this service?

Below is a list of the specific third parties that we use to assist us with providing services to you, along with the purpose(s) for which we may share your personal information with these third parties and the specific personal information that is shared with these services.

  • Heroku (https://heroku.com) - Heroku (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Salesforce.com) is a cloud platform where we host the FocusGroupIt application and database. Since it is our hosting and database provider, all personal information shared on the FocusGroupIt site is hosted at Heroku. Processing of data on Heroku happens in the United States. Heroku (Salesforce.com Inc) adheres to the principles of the EU-US Privacy Shield and the Swiss-US Privacy Shield.
  • Amazon Web Services (https://aws.amazon.com) - Amazon Web Services are used to store selected files and attachments shared in any focus group. Any files uploaded through forms on this website (e.g., avatars, photos, documents and file attachments to topics or replies) are stored using the S3 service at Amazon Web Services. Processing of data on Amazon Web Services happens in the United States. Amazon Web Services adheres to the principles of the EU-US Privacy Shield and the Swiss-US Privacy Shield.
  • Cloudflare (https://cloudflare.com) - Cloudflare is a Content Delivery Network (CDN) service we use to cache content delivered to users around the world to improve site performance. Cloudflare is also used to improve site security. All traffic to and from this website is filtered through Cloudflare. Processing of data on Cloudflare happens in the United States. Cloudflare adheres to the principles of the EU-US Privacy Shield and the Swiss-US Privacy Shield.
  • DocRaptor (https://docraptor.com) - DocRaptor (a product of by Expected Behavior, LLC) enables focus group moderators that have upgraded their focus group(s) to export the transcripts of the group to Excel and/or PDF formats. The personal data shared with DocRaptor includes your name, email, username, bio and any replies you make in the focus group(s) you are part of. Processing of data on DocRaptor happens in the United States. Expected Behavior, LLC adheres to the principles of the EU-US Privacy Shield.
  • Google Analytics (https://google.com/analytics) - Google Analytics is a web analysis service provided by Google Inc. FocusGroupIt uses this service to monitor and analyze the use of the service. Google uses the data collected to track and examine the use of this application, prepare reports on its activities and share them with other Google services. Google may also use the data collected to contextualize and personalize the ads of its own advertising network. Processing of data on Google Analytics happens in the United States. Google Inc. adheres to the principles of the EU-US Privacy Shield and the Swiss-US Privacy Shield. Note that if you wish to opt-out of Google Analytics tracking on this website, please visit this page: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout
  • Adobe Typekit (https://typekit.com) - Typekit (a product of Adobe Systems Incorporated) is a typeface (font) visualization service that enables the FocusGroupIt website to display specialized fonts to users of the website. Usage data may be shared with Typekit as specified in their privacy policy. Processing of the data on Typekit happens in the United States. Adobe Systems Incorporated adheres to the principles of the EU-US Privacy Shield and the Swiss-US Privacy Shield.
  • Stripe (https://stripe.com) - Stripe is a service that provides secure payment mechanisms to websites like FocusGroupIt. The personal information shared with Stripe includes your name, email address and billing information (note that billing information is not stored on our server - when entered on our site it is transferred directly to Stripe). Processing of data through Stripe happens in the United States. Stripe Inc. adheres to the principles of the EU-US Privacy Shield and the Swiss-US Privacy Shield.
  • New Relic (https://newrelic.com) - New Relic is a monitoring service provided by New Relic Inc. We use this service to monitor application performance and track errors that may occur in the application for technical support purposes. As part of this monitoring, New Relic filters all communication between your browser and our application. Processing of data on New Relic happens in the United States. New Relic adheres to the principles of the EU-US Privacy Shield and the Swiss-US Privacy Shield.
  • MailChimp (https://mailchimp.com) - MailChimp is an email address management and message sending service provided by The Rocket Science Group, LLC. We use MailChimp to send notices to focus group moderators regarding changes to the service and new features. MailChimp is also used to notify focus group participants of any changes to this privacy policy. Personal data sent to MailChimp may include your first name, last name and email address. Processing of personal data on MailChimp happens in the United States. The Rocket Science Group, LLC adheres to the principles of the EU-US Privacy Shield and the Swiss-US Privacy Shield.
  • Mandrill (https://mandrill.com) - Mandrill is a transactional email service provided by The Rocket Science Group, LLC. We use Mandrill to send "transactional" email notices from the application, including emails when you register, join/create a focus group, receive a reply in a focus group and/or receive updates on activity happening in focus groups you are part of. Personal data sent to Mandrill may include your email address, first name and last name. Processing of personal data on Mandrill happens in the United States. The Rocket Science Group, LLC adheres to the principles of the EU-US Privacy Shield and the Swiss-US Privacy Shield.
  • Ziggeo (https://ziggeo.com) - Ziggeo is a service to enable browser-based recording of video and audio. We use Ziggeo as a way to enable recording of video replies as a response to focus group questions. Note that this is NEVER done automatically - it is always done with your explicit consent by you pressing a button to record and upload a video response to a question. We do not directly pass your personal information to Ziggeo - it is only used as a service for processing video recordings. However, your likeness in the form of a video recording is processed by Ziggeo. Note that video recordings are always optional and you may leave a text reply if you are not comfortable recording a video. Processing of personal data on Ziggeo happens in the United States. Ziggeo adheres to the principles of the EU-US Privacy Shield and the Swiss-US Privacy Shield.

Will you encounter third-party links on our website?

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) that are 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.

Do we use 'cookies' on the FocusGroupIt website?

Yes. Please click the link below to view our Cookie Policy:

FocusGroupIt.com Cookie Policy

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. It is against market research industry rules and our Terms of Service to ask participants to pay to participate in focus groups. We will immediately remove the account of any customer that asks participants to pay to participate in a focus group.

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.

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.

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:

How can you contact FocusGroupIt?

If there are any questions regarding this privacy policy you may contact us by mail or email using the information below:

FocusGroupIt, LLC
260 East Main Street, Suite #6326
Rochester, NY 14604
[email protected]

Last Updated on May 24th, 2018