Your Privacy Covenant with the People who Participate in your Projects
The Over the Shoulder Platform was specifically designed to allow the people in your projects to share their thoughts, emotions and experiences with you as freely and easily as possible. Often, those thoughts, emotions and experiences are insightful and valuable precisely because they are also intensely private.
Protecting peoples’ identities and private submissions is a moral obligation that falls on us because we are consumers of consumer research.
We built the Over the Shoulder platform with encryption and protection of the highest practical level at every point where we handle, store and transfer people’s identities and submissions.
The most likely source of inappropriate sharing of private information is not Internet security, database hacking or a malicious security breach. It’s how you personally handle the materials you collect.
Here’s what we ask you to agree to when you take on the obligation of being a trustee of the privacy of the people who participate in your projects.
1) If you share, make sure they’re aware. Only share the credentials for your project’s Project Viewing Portal and any downloaded materials with people who understand that it’s private and agree to keep it so. Assume that the people you share with DON’T understand how private and sensitive it is. If you share access, ensure that the person you share it with understands it’s sensitive, and agrees to this privacy covenant.
2) Who can I share my OTS submissions with ("submissions" meaning answers, photos, audios, videos or other identifiable answers that your participants send you through the Over the Shoulder platform).
Partners and suppliers who have signed an NDA that covers your OTS submissions.
3) What sharing is inappropriate?
If you want to share OTS submissions outside of the people above, you must ask the permission of the participant before you do so.
Want to use a submission for a conference presentation or a sales kit? Get the explicit permission of the person who submitted it. We will happily help you secure permission if the participant wishes to grant it.
If you know you’ll ultimately want to share OTS submissions with people you can’t NDA, we can help you make participants aware of this when we recruit them so they’ve already given their informed consent.
4) If the information you are collecting is particularly sensitive in nature and you’d like an even higher level of protection, let us know. We have tools that can help, like de-identifying/pixelating submissions.
Above all, apply the following common sense rule to anything you do with any submission you receive.
“If the person who sent in this submission was my child/loved one,
would I be OK with someone using it as I am considering using it?