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The Privacy Advisor | Research firms team for privacy initiative Related reading: GoDaddy wins 2018 HPE-IAPP Privacy Innovation Award at P.S.R.

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ESOMAR, an association for market research firms, will announce on Thursday, Data Privacy Day, a new initiative by its members aimed at boosting "transparency and choice for online audience measurement research."

Headed up by comScore, GfK, Kantar, and Nielsen, the effort, dubbed Research Choices (the site goes live on Jan. 28), will help consumers understand online data collection practices and facilitate access to different choice mechanisms across the Internet. 

"Strictly adhering to all data privacy regulations and respecting consumers' intent goes without saying for us," said GfK CEO Matthias Hartmann in a statement. Research Choices "is a big step forward to bringing more transparency to our research methods and to providing an easy option for consumers to decide on their participation in online audience measurement research."

Chris Lin, CPO at comScore, in a statement called the education of consumers a "major topic" for the research industry in 2016 and expressed a commitment to strong privacy practices at comScore. 

ESOMAR President Laurent Flores said Research Choices will begin by tackling audience measurement online, then will broaden to provide education and choices to cover all digital research activities. Those who would like to join the initiative need only be members of a national or international research association that subscribes to the ICC/ESOMAR code of conduct for research firms, or an equivalent ethical code. 

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