GDPR: Protecting our client data at InsightAsia


At InsightAsia, we always strive to correctly secure survey data, safeguard our respondent identities and protect client confidentiality.

This has been fundamental to operating as a professional and trusted market research operation across Asia for the past 22 years.

In a digital world where our personal data is constantly used and shared with all sorts of online services, the EU are taking some huge steps to ensure citizen data is protected.

The GDPR, which will come into place on 25 May 2018, will require every organisation that handles the data of EU citizens to follow the new data rules.

‘But we’re in Asia, not Europe!’

These were our first thoughts too! But with some clients, employees and email list members residing in the EU, alongside the fact that we sometimes handle data in Europe, compliance with the GDPR is absolutely necessary if we are to ensure we are protecting data as we should be.

At InsightAsia, we embrace any new regulation which will positively impact our clients, staff and of course our friends and families. As pointed out by Finn Raben, when it comes to market research, an unregulated industry would make it harder for law-abiding, ethical researchers like ourselves to reach people, help governments and support businesses when making pertinent decisions.

Data protection is becoming a hot topic throughout Asia at the moment. The GDPR’s principles can be found in Singapore’s Data Protection Act, for example, and the Personal Data Protection Commission have given some top advice about how Singaporeans should be managing personal data.

These principles are something InsightAsia are keen to follow, and we hope that it’ll only be a matter of time before regions throughout Asia start to follow suit with laws like the GDPR.

Professional market research companies are extremely careful to follow industry rules on protecting personal data sourced from any market research surveys or focus groups that we carry out. As a member of ESOMAR, InsightAsia is bound by the code of practice in this area.

With digitalisation, marketing personalisation and artificial intelligence making waves across the globe, a focus on protecting citizen data, and ensuring people have complete transparency when it comes to how their data is being used and stored, can only be a positive move for businesses and individuals alike.

Our Regional Research and Analytics Director, Ramesh Sundararajan, explains InsightAsia's stance on the impending data regulation:

“In the digital world of today, where consumers, often inadvertently, give permission to companies to use their data as deemed fit, and where data analysis is moving to a more integrated approach of using market research data and secondary data sources, it becomes the agency’s task to use data without compromising on privacy rules.

“At InsightAsia, we have processes in place to ensure all data is retrieved, stored and used responsibly, and we always put consumer, client and employee privacy interests above anything else. We’re committed to living up to the trust placed upon us by the people we work with.”
— Ramesh Sundararajan

So, what are the rules?


Article 5 of the GDPR states that all personal data should be:

a) Processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to individuals
b) Collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes
c) Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary
d) Accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date. Inaccurate data must be erased or rectified without delay
e) Kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary
f) Kept securely.

Learn more about the principles of GDPR in the ICO’s handy guide to GDPR.

What are we doing about GDPR at InsightAsia?

  1. We’ve updated our privacy policy to ensure it explains transparently what we do with the data we hold.

  2. We’re in the process of reviewing our internal processes to make sure we are protecting individuals’ data rights.

  3. We’ll be contacting all our clients on our email marketing database to allow them to confirm that they consent for us to continue to emailing them in the future.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be getting in contact to ensure that you’re still happy to hear from us. Our email will contain a simple button to click if you still want to stay in touch – so keep an eye on your inbox!

At InsightAsia, we only use your information send you the latest updates, top trends and market research insights. We store your contact information in our main email marketing tool, MailChimp, and we will never share your information with any third parties.

Want to stay in the InsightAsia loop? Make sure that you re-opt-in before it’s too late!