Digital Trends Panel - Transform the web

Privacy policy


GfK nurago is running a market research programme in the UK called Digital Trends Panel (“the Panel”) that individuals can voluntarily join. GfK’s Digital Trends Panel market research programme will help GfK’s clients answer important questions such as:

  • What different technologies do people own and what do they use them for?
  • How does the arrival of new technology affect media use?
  • Do people notice advertising, and how relevant or irrelevant do they find it?
  • How popular are different media activities among different types of people?

Participation is voluntary. To join the Panel you will need to complete the registration profile and screener survey, successfully install the nurago Web Meter that will record your web browsing behaviour.

Once registered, panel members will be asked to complete various questionnaires. We provide incentives to thank our panelists for their contribution to the Panel. Your privacy and the protection of your personal data are of the utmost importance to GfK. GfK is committed to fully complying with data protection legislation and to the professional rules of conduct of the market research industry.

The full Privacy Policy for the Panel is written below.


The rest of this Privacy Policy provides you with the following information:

  1. Who is behind the Panel
  2. Registration survey
  3. nurago Web Meter
  4. The usage of cookies
  5. Combining and managing Panel data
  6. Panel data security and validation
  7. Data Revisions
  8. Further information on the nurago Web Meter
  9. Privacy policy updates

Who is behind the Digital Trends Panel?

Digital Trends Panel is a market research study being run by GfK, one of the world’s largest market research companies and, specifically, carried out by GfK nurago GmbH (“GfK nurago”), a GfK subsidiary, based in Hanover, Germany. GfK nurago developed the software you are installing on your computer and is the data controller for the Digital Trends Panel. Both GfK nurago and GfK research professionals are members of ESOMAR (a worldwide organisation for market research) and abide by the association’s guidelines and code of conduct for market research (a copy of which can be found at For more information about GfK nurago, please visit Survey Sampling International, LLC ("Survey Sampling") is a sub-contractor for GfK nurago and is also a member of ESOMAR.
Survey Sampling’s role within the Panel is to:

  • Recruit individuals to join the Panel by collecting their email address
  • Manage the payment of rewards to Panel panelists
  • Be the first line of support for Panel panelists

Registration Survey: What information is collected, by whom and why

The e-mail address is stored by Survey Sampling.

The data from the registration survey is stored by GfK nurago.

The registration process collects personal information ("Personal Information") from you to enable panel management and market research activities. (Personal Information is any information that is identifiable with you or, when combined with other information may lead to your identity. This information may include but is not limited to your name, mailing address, phone numbers, internet protocol address, email address, identification numbers, including user identification numbers assigned to you as a panelist and, in certain circumstances, your opinions and individual preferences.) The registration is not intended to collect any professional or business information from you or your employer – just individual and household information should be collected.

The information you provide when you register to join the panel is used:

  1. To communicate with you regarding your registration, including reminders in the event you do not complete the registration process.
  2. To ensure you are eligible to take part in this research as explained in the invitation.
  3. To analyse the demographic profile of participants by gender, age bands, geographical area and other similar groupings.
  4. To contact you by email for the purpose of inviting you to take part in surveys we carry out, provide information about the research and survey results as well as other general information about the Panel.
  5. To contact you by email in order to send you the rewards you are entitled to by participating in the Panel.
  6. To contact you if you have not been an active member of the Panel for some time to check if you still want to remain a member of the Panel.

The nurago Web Meter: What information is collected, by whom and why

The nurago Web Meter collects information about your internet usage. Your individual web data will be stored by GfK nurago. All information collected by the Web Meter during the lifetime of the Panel is intended to be collected in an anonymous manner (not linked to your name). In accordance with market research industry guidelines, GfK nurago will provide anonymised data to its clients so long as they are contractually bound to keep the information confidential and use it only for research or statistical purposes. GfK nurago take commercially reasonable precautions to remove any identifiable information that may have been included as a result of information displayed about you in an unsecured session. Appended to this data will be non-personally identifiable data that GfK nurago holds about you that was collected as part of the registration survey or other Panel surveys.

We can assure you that GfK nurago will not knowingly append any personally-identifiable information to the anonymised data shared with its clients nor will you be intentionally identifiable in any published results. If you elect to download and install the Web Meter as described in more detail below, advertisements may be displayed to you as a result of your online browsing activities and your panel identification number may be shared with third party advertising networks to conduct such activities. We can assure you that any Personal Information you provide to us as a member of the Panel will not be shared with any third party advertiser. Nor will we sell or share your Personal Information to any third party not named in this document. (Online marketing to you by third party companies may be unintentionally influenced, however, by your participation in the Panel.)

Third parties with whom we share Personal Information:

GfK nurago will share your Personal Information and data with Survey Sampling International, LLC and/or its subsidiaries (collectively "Survey Sampling") and/or may request that Survey Sampling collect such Personal Information and/or data on behalf of GfK nurago. Such data and Personal Information may reflect panelist activity level. This includes panelist and household identifiers, along with browsing start time and duration. The purpose of sharing this information is to allow Survey Sampling to effectively manage panelists involvement in Panel. Survey Sampling may use this information to identify panelists and send communications about their participation in Panel. Survey Sampling may use your Personal Information only as directed by GfK nurago in connection with performing services such as panel recruiting, help desk and/or providing rewards to registered panelists. Survey Sampling stores Personal Information on servers located in the United States and complies with the United States (“US”) - European Union (“EU”) Safe Harbor Framework as set forth by the US Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of personal data from EU member countries. Survey Sampling has certified that it adheres to the Safe Harbor Privacy Principles of notice, choice, onward transfer, security, data integrity, access, and enforcement. To learn more about the Safe Harbor program, and to view Survey Sampling’s certification page, please visit

Cookies and other digital data: What information is collected, by whom and why

The add-on collects cookies in order to enable GfK nurago to identify additional information, such as advertisements displayed to users. GfK nurago may then use the cookie IDs to look up other information, such as advertising details from their own records. We also utilise cookies for panel management purposes. For more information on the use of cookies by GfK nurago, please see below.

What are cookies?

A cookie is a snippet of text that is sent from a website’s servers and stored on a web browser. Cookies are often used by websites to provide a better user experience to the individual browsing the site, eg by remembering your preferences.

What do I need to know about my cookies in the context of the Digital Trends Panel?

GfK nurago- and Google cookies which may adjust advertisements to be used for research purposes in advertising experiments will be dropped as you use the nurago Web Meter. Your choices with respect to HTTP cookies

By modifying your browser preferences, you have the choice to accept all cookies, to be notified when a cookie is set, or to reject third-party-cookies or even all cookies. If you choose to reject all cookies your user experience may be negatively impacted. In addition, you will be unable to participate in the Panel. Panel data management, security and revisions

Data management

By joining the Panel, you consent to having the information that is collected from you as a panelist transferred to and processed in GfK’s and GfK nurago’s data-centres or GfK’s and GfK nurago’s third party hosting services. GfK and GfK nurago reserve the right to conduct data processing and analysis in countries within and outside the European Union, at their discretion.

The GfK Group is a global organization. Your Personal Data may be transferred to one or more GfK affiliated companies or non-affiliated service providers in other countries and used for the purposes described previously.

GfK’s legal entities in the United States comply with the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework and the U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of Personal Data from European Union member countries and Switzerland. GfK has certified that it adheres to the Safe Harbor Privacy Principles ("Principles”) of notice, choice, onward transfer, security, data integrity, access, and enforcement. To learn more about the Safe Harbor program, and to view GfK’s certification, please visit

Data security

GfK and GfK nurago have implemented physical, organizational, contractual and technological security measures to protect your Personal Information from loss or theft, unauthorised access, disclosure, copying, use or modification. The only employees, who are granted access to your Personal Information are those with a business 'need-to-know' or whose duties reasonably require such information. All of the companies involved have implemented strong security measures to protect the databases containing your Personal Information. The systems used to store your Personal Information are located in secure data centres. GfK and GfK nurago prevent electronic intrusion by using firewall technology. The employees who are granted access to your Personal Information can only access it using secure connections and passwords from within their respective networks.

Unfortunately, no data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure. As a result, while we strive to protect your personal information, GfK and GfK nurago cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to us or from our online products or services, and you do so at your own risk. Once we receive your transmission, we make our best effort to ensure its security on our systems.

Data revisions

If you discover inaccurate Personal Information that we hold about you or you wish to update your Personal Information, such as informing us of a new mailing or email address you can let Survey Sampling know via their helpdesk e-mail address

When you contact Survey Sampling they will attempt to respond to your written requests within thirty (30) days of receipt, if no other local regulatory timeframe exists. Survey Sampling will advise you in writing if we cannot meet your requests within this time limit. Also, Survey Sampling does not charge any costs to you for exercising your right to access your Personal Information, or to request further information on our Privacy Policy or practices. All comments, questions, concerns or complaints regarding your Personal Information or our Privacy Policy and practices, should be forwarded to our Privacy Officer at Survey Sampling.

Further information on the GfK nurago Web Meter is provided below.

Further information regarding Web Meter

The nurago Web Meter is a piece of software (browser add-on) designed to record and collect your internet usage without materially altering the performance of your computer or internet browsing speed. (The nurago Web Meter is compatible with Microsoft® Internet Explorer (versions 6 and newer), Firefox® (versions 3 and newer) and Chrome™ (versions 7 and newer) under a Windows® (versions XP and newer) operating system environment.)

Once data is collected, the nurago Web Meter communicates via the Internet with GfK nurago's servers or those of an appointed third-party hosting service, in order to report your Internet usage to GfK nurago.

The nurago Web Meter collects the following types of information:

  1. URLs (A URL is the address of a specific website or file on the internet. An example of a URL would be
  2. All content on unsecured websites you visit (this is done by collecting an unsecured page's source code, which allows us to reproduce a "screen shot" of each unsecured webpage you view)
  3. User clicks
  4. Internet search engine queries and results
  5. Displayed advertisements
  6. Data about the programs installed and used on your computer (for example, which instant messaging or browser software is installed and used on your computer)
  7. Data about your computing device that is generally available when your computing device connects to the Internet (for example, your IP address, operating system and browser type)
  8. Cookies (more about this below).

The nurago Web Meter also allows us to change the online advertising that is displayed to you. For example, where you might have seen one advertisement for Company A on a typical, popular website, you will now be shown a different advertisement on the same website that Company A would like to test for effectiveness. Some of the advertisements that are served to you as part of our market research projects may be based on your prior browsing activities. We may also use the nurago Web Meter to invite you to participate in surveys.

The nurago Web Meter does not collect:

  1. Keystrokes or information that is entered into a web-form, such as website ids or passwords, credit card numbers or other financial account numbers, or other private data on a page in secure session.
  2. On secured (SSL-encrypted) pages we will not collect page content or form-data. Only the page URL will be collected.

Whereas the registration survey is designed to collect Personal Information, the nurago Web Meter is not intended to collect further personally identifiable information. For instance the nurago Web Meter will generally not collect data regarding items in a website shopping basket or your interactions with financial or health-related websites, which are usually secured. Please note, however, that in the event that any such private data is displayed on a confirmation page during an unsecured session, it is possible that such data will be collected. In addition, on certain "social networking" sites, posts, updates and pictures are unsecured and typically included as part of the page's source code. As a result, it is possible that we may gain access to your unsecured Personal Information, including sensitive health or financial information based on the way that certain websites display information. However, please be assured that collecting such Personal Information is not the purpose of the Panel, and any such personal data will be securely deleted from GfK nurago?s systems and/or not used for any targeting or training activities if found to have been collected.

To ensure the GfK nurago Web Meter collects data only from you and not from other individuals who may use your computer/device you may choose a version of the nurago Web Meter that will ask you to login by choosing your name (first name and first letter of your surname) from a user-dialog that automatically appears each time you start up your Internet browser.

If you are the sole user of the PC on which the nurago Web Meter shall be or is already installed, you may choose upon first registration or at any later time, by contacting the panel helpdesk, whether your personalized copy of the nurago Web Meter features a user authentication dialog box or not. What does that mean?

  1. In a setup with user authentication dialog box, this dialog box will pop up each time a browser which is compatible with the nurago Web Meter is started on the PC. From this dialog box you will be able to choose whether it is you as the Digital Trends Panel member who is currently using the browser or it is somebody else. All other users but yourself are advised to choose “Guest (private browsing / incognito)”. When browsing the internet you'll see an icon in your internet browser. By clicking on it, you will have the option of temporarily disabling the nurago Web Meter and browse privately without your internet behavior being recorded.
  2. In a setup without user authentication dialog box, there will be no authentication dialog popping up upon browser-start. In that case, you, as the sole user, will be responsible for notifying any other users that may use the computer in the future about the nurago Web Meter being installed and monitoring browser usage. GfK will not be responsible if other users’ activities are monitored. In a setup without user authentication dialog box, you will not have the option of temporarily disabling the nurago Web Meter and browse privately without your internet behavior being recorded.
  3. If you stated during registration or at any later time, by contacting the panel helpdesk, that you are not the sole user of the PC on which the nurago Web Meter shall be or is already installed, there will always be this user authentication dialog popping up upon each start of a browser which is compatible with the nurago Web Meter.

Please note disabling or uninstalling the nurago Web Meter, using an incompatible web browser or disabling your Internet connection generally will stop the flow of data to us and may impact your eligibility for the Panel.

At the conclusion of the Panel, the Web Meter will cease tracking your data, and we will send you detailed instructions on how to uninstall it entirely.

(Please note the nurago Web Meter does not disable or interfere with the application of any virus-protection software. In the event any such software blocks the Web Meter, we will provide instructions for you to manually instruct such software to permit the installation and use of the nurago Web Meter. Also, whilst GfK nurago may make routine software updates without informing you to keep the nurago Web Meter working properly, GfK nurago will not materially expand or otherwise materially change the functionality of the nurago Web Meter or the information the nurago Web Meter collects without your prior knowledge and consent.)

Changes to our privacy policy:

If there are changes to our privacy policy, we will post these changes in this privacy statement and other places we deem appropriate so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If however, we are going to use Panel participants Personal Information, including email address, in a manner different from that stated at the time of collection we will notify them via email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. However, if users have opted out of all communication with the site, or deleted/deactivated their account, then they will not be contacted, nor will their personal information be used in this new manner. In addition, if we make any material changes in our privacy practices that do not affect user information already stored in our database, we will post a prominent notice on our web site notifying users of the change. In some cases, where we post a notice, we will also email users, who have opted to receive communications from us, notifying them of the changes in our privacy practices.

Last updated: 25 February 2013
GfK nurago GmbH
Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 24,
30159 Hannover, Germany