2CVSue Hyde

GDPR: The Cool to Creepy Scale

Blood curdling screams fill the air and anxious, pale, ghostlike faces look blankly at one another as we stumble fearfully towards the scariest time in the upcoming calendar….


GDPR: The Cool to Creepy Scale

The European regulations on data protection come into force in May 2018 and as the Head of UK Qual Field at 2CV I feel, like I know a lot of others in the industry, caught up in some kind of Data Protection hysteria, a blind panic not really knowing why but assuming it will be dreadful and involve a lot of time and effort to be ready in time.

To try to allay these fears I attended an MRS training day on the subject of GDPR and found that one of my most useful takeaways (aside from the camaraderie of a lot of other Field Managers in the same position) was an approach to bear in mind when designing research, which is eerily suitable as we approach Halloween.

The COOL ------------> CREEPY Scale!

The basic principle is; put aside your work persona and when thinking about how you propose to use somebodies data ask yourself, if it was you, would you be cool with it…or would you find it creepy?

For example, if you bought a coffee from your local coffee shop every day and the cashier started having it ready for you as they know your order … that's cool. But if that cashier followed you home one day to get your address so when you opened your front door in the morning they were standing there with your favourite coffee…CREEPY!

Likewise, if you gave your details to a company as part of a research project into eating habits and at the end of the project you were asked to rate the communications from the company providing the research for training purposes, you would likely be unsurprised by this and feel it was a normal procedure. If the company emailed you out of the blue 6 months later saying after monitoring your online shopping with a major supermarket they know you eat on average 27 potions of fruit and vegetables per week and would like to come to your house to film you talking about why this is the case…CREEPY!!!!!

Basically, respondents should have no surprises when it comes to how their data is used, they should give full informed consent to the entire process up front.

This is obviously one small facet of the GDPR regulations, but in a landscape largely filled with quite dry protocols that can seem difficult to apply to touchy feely Qual methodologies, I find this simple question to be a useful barometer. Is it cool or is it creepy?


Sue Hyde

Head of UK Qual Field