- Last update: September 9, 2022
Vital Findings, LLC (“us”, “we”, or “Vital Findings”) is committed to protecting the privacy of its clients, research participants, and other users of vitalfindings.com, including all pages thereunder and any other Vital Findings website (collectively, the “Site”).
By accessing or browsing our Site, participating in surveys or other research, or otherwise providing your data to us, you confirm that you have read and understood the entirety of this Policy. This Policy forms a binding agreement between you and Vital Findings. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, do not use the Site, participate in research, or provide us with your data. Continued use of the Site or participation in such research constitutes your freely given, specific, and informed consent and agreement to the terms of this Policy.
Your Personal Data
Vital Findings conforms its privacy and security practices to applicable laws, codes, and regulations, including, without limitation, the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”).
As used in this Policy, “personal data” and “personal information” mean information that identifies, relates to, describes, is capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked with a particular data subject, consumer, or household. Personal information includes information such as real names, postal addresses, email addresses, and social security numbers.
Under CCPA’s broad definition, “personal information” may also include unique identifiers, IP addresses, biometric information, internet or other network activity (such as browsing history, search history, etc.), geolocation data, audio/visual data, and even inferences which may be drawn from any of the above to create a profile about an individual.
Information We Collect From You on Our Site
We may collect personal information when you fill in forms on our Site. We may also ask you for information when you report a problem with our Site. If you contact us, we may keep a record of that correspondence, and such record may include your personal information. In all of these cases you know what personal information we are collecting because you provide it to us directly.
Information We Collect in Connection with Research
We conduct market research for our clients. Most of the information we collect about you (only a small subset of which may be “personal data,” “personal information,” or “personally identifiable information” as defined under applicable law) is information you voluntarily disclose to us in connection with our research studies.
Some of our studies take the form of “communities,” which involve repeated interaction over a defined period of time; in those cases, we would typically have personal data about you (including a means to contact you), but other participants in the study would not have access to this information.
Data collected as part of our studies may include respondent demographic data (such as age, sex, race/ethnicity, parental status, marital status, ZIP code, income and education levels) and respondent-supplied opinions on products or brands. In some instances, we may also collect video or audio responses.
If the survey involves an incentive or a contest, we may ask for your name and telephone number or email address to notify you if you are a winner. There is never an obligation to provide this information to participate in the survey, but if you don’t provide it you may not be able to participate in the incentive program. Our legal basis for collection and processing of respondent-supplied personal data is consent; we do not collect personal data without the affirmative consent of the research participant. Consent can be withdrawn at any time.
In some instances, we may obtain information about you (which in some cases may be “personal data” or “personally identifiable information” as defined under applicable law) from our clients, third party vendors, or partners for use in connection with the studies. This information might include your contact information, so we can send you an invitation to participate in the study.
As to certain other studies, we may collect public postings and comments you may have made in connection with product reviews or on social media pages of different companies or brands which may, from time to time, include the “handle” or “username” you used for that posting, and which we obfuscate at time of collection. In those cases, our legal basis for the collecting and processing of the information is our legitimate interest to perform our obligations under our contract with the client commissioning the research study in question.
Additionally, in connection with our online survey activities, we employ software to identify certain systems-related information about respondents, including IP address, device and browser type, and geographic location, in order to detect fraudulent activity (e.g., bots), to protect the integrity of the research, and to optimize the survey experience. This information is only used for these purposes, and may also be shared with third party vendors in connection with the mechanics of the fraud detection process. Our legal basis for the collection and processing of this information is our legitimate interest to protect the integrity of our business and enhance the services we perform for our clients.
You acknowledge and agree that research participation is voluntary, and participants always have the opportunity to decline involvement or to “opt out” of the research after agreeing to participate, as clearly identified in each survey. If you wish to be removed from our email lists, please contact us as provided below.
We may also purchase existing data about you from third party vendors, such as demographic, interest, or behavioral information, and correlate and append that data to your survey responses so we can perform more robust analysis in connection with the study. This is typically done through the use of third party intermediaries who are able to associate your responses to other existing data through technology, such as pixel tags or cookies, or other identifying information which they (but not we) possess. In those cases, our legal basis for the processing of the information is our legitimate interest to perform our obligations under our contract with the client commissioning the research study in question.
If you are a client or work for a client, we likely have collected various contact, business, and in some cases financial information about you in the course of administering our relationship with you or your employer. In those cases, our legal basis for the collection and processing of the information is our legitimate interest to perform our obligations under our contract with you or the company for which you work.
If you choose to use social media (for example, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn) in order to contact us or find out about our services, we may collect your public-facing profile data, data relating to your interactions with us, and any data you post on message boards which are relevant to our business.
We may collect certain information regarding visitors to our Site, including IP address, device and browser type, and behavior while on the Site (e.g., which links were clicked on). We may do so using cookies to distinguish you from other users to our Site and to remember you between visits. For more information see the “Cookies” section below.
Cookies and Similar Technologies
Occasionally, cookies, pixels, or web beacons may be placed on our Site by service providers or partners. A cookie is a small text file created by a website that is stored in the user’s computer either temporarily for that session only (session cookies) or permanently on the hard disk (persistent cookies). Cookies provide a way for the Site to recognize you and keep track of your preferences.
The Site uses both session cookies and performance cookies, which are persistent. Specifically, performance cookies are in place so that traffic patterns and uses on the Site may be measured and optimized.
If you prefer not to receive cookies from our Site you can disable their use in your browser settings. By doing so you may reduce the functionality of the web pages you view. You can block cookies by activating the setting on your browser that allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or parts of our Site.
“Do Not Track” Signals
Currently, our systems do not respond to browser do-not-track signals, and do not treat such do-not-track signals as “do not sell” signals under CCPA.
How We Use Your Data
Regarding data collected as part of our research activities, we collect data in, and in connection with, our studies for research purposes only, and our use of that information is limited to that purpose. Research participant information is not used for sales purposes. In many cases, this information (which is typically anonymized) is shared with the client commissioning the study pursuant to our contract with that client. In some cases we may need to share personal data with third parties for ancillary services in support of a research project. In these cases, we require the third party to follow all of the same privacy protection regulations as followed by us.
As to client data we collect, we do not use the information for any purpose other than to fulfill our obligations to clients. We keep client information secure at all times, and prevent the use and disclosure of it by our employees or any third parties.
How We Share Your Data
In order to deliver to our clients, we use several third-party vendors (e.g., as required for secure database management, recruiting, and honoraria distribution), and may share your information with such vendors. All such vendors are vetted for security compliance and subject to appropriate confidentiality restrictions. In all cases, we take appropriate measures to ensure that the vendor protects personal data in accordance with this Policy.
We may also disclose personal information if required to do so by law or in the good-faith belief that such action is necessary to comply with state and federal laws or respond to a court order, judicial or other government subpoena, or warrant. In some cases, and at our sole discretion, we may make such disclosures without providing notice to you.
We also reserve the right to disclose personal information that we believe, in good faith, is appropriate or necessary to (i) take precautions against liability; (ii) protect Vital Findings from fraudulent, abusive, or unlawful uses; (iii) investigate and defend ourselves against any third-party claims or allegations; (iv) assist government enforcement agencies; (v) protect the security or integrity of the Site; and/or (vi) to protect the rights, property, or personal safety of respondents, Vital Findings personnel, or other persons.
In the event that Vital Findings is acquired by or merged with a third-party entity, we reserve the right to transfer or assign the information we have collected from you as part of such merger, acquisition, sale, or other change of control. Otherwise, Vital Findings will not sell, rent or otherwise disclose your personal information except as described in this Policy.
Retention of Personal Data
As a general matter, we keep personal data for no longer than necessary for the purposes for which the personal data is collected or processed. The length of time we retain personal data for depends on the purposes for which we collect and use it and/or as required to comply with applicable laws and to establish, exercise or defend our legal rights.
We maintain physical, electronic and procedural security measures to help safeguard client and personal data which are consistent with industry standards and practice and in compliance with applicable law. Third parties that provide us with support or services and that may also receive client or personal data are required by us to maintain security measures similar to ours with respect to such information. We will take reasonable precaution, consistent with industry standards and practice, to protect personal data from loss, misuse, unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, and destruction. Please note, however, that no transaction over the Internet is always 100% secure, and this section does not constitute a guarantee of security.
Your Rights As to Your Personal Data
You have certain rights by law to know certain details regarding our data handling practices generally; this information is described above and elsewhere in this Policy. If you would like further information about these rights or would like to exercise any of them, please contact us as provided below.
By law, as well as for your protection, if you request that we take certain actions as to personal data we have about you, we are required to take certain steps to verify your identity. If we are not able to verify your identity, we may not be able to respond to your request.
Note, some of these rights may not be applicable to information which we might collect or process from or about you in your capacity as our employee, job applicant, or independent contractor; there are other laws applicable to those relationships which are not addressed in this Policy. If you have any questions, please contact us as provided below.
Information for Individuals in Europe
Depending on how we obtain your personal data (as described above), we may either be considered a “controller” or a “processor” under applicable law as to that data. If we are the processor, we will process the data in accordance with the instructions provided to us by the controller of that data.
The data that we collect from you may be transferred to, and stored at, a destination outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”), including in the United States (“US”) or other countries. It may also be processed by staff operating outside the US or the EEA who work for us or for one of our suppliers. If your personal data is transferred to, stored at or otherwise processed in a country or territory outside the EEA, and that country or territory has not been recognized as providing an adequate level of data protection, we will put in place additional safeguards to protect your personal data, based on standard contractual clauses.
If you are a data subject in the EEA, you have the right to access, rectify, or erase any personal data we have collected about you. You also have the right to data portability and the right to restrict or object to our processing of personal data we have collected about you. In addition, you have the right to ask us not to process your personal data (or provide it to separate entities to process) for marketing purposes or purposes materially different than for which it was originally collected or subsequently authorized by you. You may withdraw your consent at any time for any data processing we do based on consent you have provided to us.
You may exercise your rights by contacting us as provided below. We may request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and process your request. If you would like to submit a complaint about our use of your personal data or response to your requests regarding your personal data, you may contact us or submit a complaint to the data protection regulator in your jurisdiction.
We will not process your personal data unless we have a lawful basis for processing. As further described above, our lawful bases include where: (a) you have given your consent to our processing for a specific purpose; (b) processing is necessary for the performance of a contract with you or to comply with a legal obligation; or (c) processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by Vital Findings or a third-party controller, including our clients.
Information for Individuals in California
If you are a California resident, you have certain special rights under CCPA, in addition to your other rights outlined in this Policy.
Your Right to “Know” and to Request Deletion
You have the right to know the categories and specific pieces of personal information we have collected about you. You have the right to know the categories of sources from which the personal information has been collected, the business or commercial purpose for collecting or selling personal information, and the categories of third parties with whom we share personal information.
You also have the right to request deletion of personal information we’ve collected or maintain. Please note, however, that our deletion of your personal information may negatively affect our ability to provide you with services.
To exercise these rights please contact us as provided below.
To verify your identity, we may request, at point of submission of your request, that you supply your basic contact information, as well as certain other non-personally identifiable information (e.g., information relating to your last interaction with us, such as subject matter and type of study), and we endeavor to match at least two pieces of this information with information in our possession.
Please note that any requested disclosures will only apply to the 12-month period preceding the request, and you are entitled to request disclosure regarding your personal information twice in any 12-month period.
Your Right to Opt out of the “Sale” of Your Information
We will never disclose personal information such as your name or address to third parties in exchange for monetary consideration without your consent.
However, CCPA also defines the term “sell” broadly. Its meaning includes “renting, releasing, disclosing, disseminating, making available, [and] transferring…for monetary or other valuable consideration.” Under this broad definitions, certain information we provide to our clients as part of survey results may arguably be deemed a “sale” of “personal information” under CCPA. You have the right to opt out of this “sale.” For more information on how to opt out, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Personal Information “Sold” or Disclosed for a Business Purpose
As further described in the section above titled “How we Share Your Data,” in the last 12 months we have disclosed, subject to confidentiality agreements, the following categories of personal information with our third-party service providers and data collection partners: respondent names; email addresses; employer name; LinkedIn profile information; job title; IP address; unique identifiers; demographic data, such as age, sex, race/ethnicity, parental status, marital status, ZIP code, income and education levels; other profiling information related to a particular study, such as type of customer, your relationship to the client, company size, and number of years you have been a customer of our client.
Under the CCPA’s broad “sale” definition, we’ve also “sold” the following categories of personal information to our clients as part of research results: unique identifiers; any personal data provided in your survey answers; demographic data, such as age, sex, race/ethnicity, parental status, marital status, ZIP code, income and education levels; and other profiling information related to a particular study, such as type of customer, your relationship to the client, company size, and number of years you have been a customer of our client.
Your Right to Non-Discrimination
You have the right not to receive discriminatory treatment for the exercise of the privacy rights conferred by the CCPA, including but not limited to by denying you services, charging different prices or rates, or providing you with a different level or quality of services.
We do not discriminate financially between those who elect to supply their personal data to us and those who elect to not do so, provided, however, that to the extent a survey or other research study—the completion of which would result in the payment of a financial incentive or entry in a sweepstakes—involves the collection of data and you decline to consent to such collection, you would not be able to proceed to participate in the study, and (depending on the specific study) to the extent you are required to supply your contact information at the conclusion of a survey in order for us to fulfill the participation incentive and you decline to provide your contact information, you would not receive the participation incentive.
Your Right to Use an Authorized Agent
You have the right to designate an authorized agent to make a request under the CCPA on your behalf. To designate an authorized agent, please contact us as provided below. In addition to verifying your identity as described above, we may also require the agent to also supply written authorization from you to act on your behalf, except where restricted by law.
Any personal data which may be collected in the Careers sections of our Site will be used solely for purposes of the consideration of possible employment. This information will not be used towards research and is not human resources data within the context of the working relationship.
We operate in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”), governed by the US Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”). We do not collect, use or disclose information from children under the age of 13 online without a statement of permission from a parent or guardian. We also do not “sell” (as defined in CCPA) personal information of persons under 16 without affirmative authorization. For more information on COPPA, please visit http://www.ftc.gov/ogc/coppa1.htm.