Phil Hearn: Blogger, Writer & Founder of MRDC Software Ltd.

Telephone number security with CATI software using QPSMR

Security and data privacy continue to grow in importance. New laws in the EU under GDPR are designed to make care of personal data increasingly important to companies. Whilst there is an established and obvious need for data security with online surveys, there has arguably been less rigour with CATI surveys.

The value of telephone numbers

Telephone numbers can be valuable assets when they contain a large list of customers or, perhaps, a smaller list of high value customers. For that reason, concealing the telephone number of research participants is becoming increasingly important.

The business risk

Telephone interviewers frequently have access to telephone numbers and survey managers will often have access to telephone number contact lists. This can make research clients uncomfortable, which is why QPSMR CATI is adding telephone encryption to its wide range of features.

How does it work?

It means that a research buyer or panel company could, for example, provide a list of potential CATI survey respondents with the telephone numbers encrypted. This means that the research company and the individual interviewer will have no idea what telephone number the system is dialling. The software needed to encrypt the telephone numbers will be free to use for companies providing sample files containing telephone numbers.

Heightened security

MRDC Product Consultant, Charlotte Fotoohi, summed up the development. “At a stroke, it takes away the risk. A stolen computer, a lost file no longer puts the company conducting CATI research using QPSMR CATI at risk”.

Does your CATI software have enough security?

The new development is likely to cause many CATI unit managers to re-consider whether they have enough suitable security in place to prevent negligence, theft or misuse of telephone contact lists.

When will it be available?

The new CATI feature will be ready for release on 1st April 2018 and will be available to all QPSMR CATI users at no additional cost.