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Changing Codes of Conduct

Sascha Matuszak ( is a reporter at SCCE & HCCA in Minneapolis, MN.

In the first few days of October, the Market Research Society (MRS) and the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) both decided to change their codes of ethics, but for two very different reasons.

The driver for change at the MRS seems to be the emergence of data management as a critical component of how organizations operate. The United Kingdom—where MRS is based—adopted the Data Protection Act 2018 to comply with the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and MRS states on their website[1] ( that “This edition of the Code of Conduct … has been revised to encompass the requirements of the UK’s Data Protection Act 2018 and to include a broader selection of data collection processes.”

As a research society for “all those who need, generate, or interpret the evidence for making good business and policy decision,” the MRS felt the pressure of a changing business landscape and decided a change was in order. Data management, including privacy and protection, has become a cornerstone of how the EU and UK do business. The GDPR and Data Protection Act are widely considered to be the gold standard for data management regulations in the world. Several other countries have adopted similar standards, including Japan, South Africa, Brazil, the state of California, and possibly even the federal government of the United States. The revised MRS Code of Conduct pulls definitions directly from the GDPR, including definitions for consent, data subject, and personal data processing.

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