Research Privacy Policy

Zinc tank abides by the Code of Ethics of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association of Canada (MRIA: as well as the Code of Ethics of the Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA:

In accordance with the Personal Information and Electronics Documents Act (PIPEDA), we have posted the following privacy policy. Many of these policies have been in effect since the company's inception, but now are formalized in this statement.

A complete version of the Privacy Act & other related documents are available at the federal Privacy Commissioner’s Web site, The following describes zinc tank’s policy as set out in the Act’s 10 privacy principles:

The privacy officer for zinc tank is Brian F. Singh. He can be reached by email at or by mail to: Privacy Officer, zinc tank, Suite 100 – 1443 19 Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta, T2T 0J1.

Identifying purposes

Most data collection conducted at zinc tank is onsite (via PDA) and online. We also conduct telephone surveys and qualitative research. In all cases, zinc tank provides aggregate data from all surveys to clients who sponsor that study. Non-aggregated personal information is only released to other research partners for research purposes, such as verification of authenticity or follow-up studies where permission has been obtained. Personal information is never released for non-research purposes to any client or research partner.

Zinc tank does not house any personal information.
Zinc tank does not keep/maintain resume files. Personal information is never released for non-research purposes to any client or research partner.


When zinc tank is conducting its own research, interviewers inform respondents that they are collecting data strictly for research purposes. Interviewers will have identification indicating that they are conducting research on behalf of zinc tank. If zinc tank has programmed a survey on its PDA platform for another research supplier, we require that that supplier has a privacy policy that is in compliance with all required requirements and legislation.

Typically zinc tank sends out email invitations to respondents inviting them to participate in a survey. In other cases, a "pop-up" invitation is launched from a relevant website. Either within the invitation or in survey introduction, there is an advisory passage advising participants that responses are used strictly for research purposes.

Email invitations clearly identify zinc tank and/or another survey research partner on whose behalf we are conducting the online survey research. In all cases, we ensure that any contact list used has been vetted for privacy concerns. A reply to the sending address always goes to the individual responsible for the survey who can further clarify the purpose of that particular study.

Typically, zinc tank informs potential respondents that they have been contacted to participate in a survey. Interviewers are required in the survey introduction to inform potential participants that responses are used strictly for research purposes.

Interviewers clearly identify zinc tank and/or another survey research partner on whose behalf we are conducting the online survey research. Interviewees, upon request, are provided contact information for individuals responsible for the survey who can further clarify the purpose of that particular study.

Zinc tank does not collect personal information except when required for internal business use only – in recruiting for qualitative research purposes and in the recording of interviews for research purposes. Once projects are completed (i.e., proprietary reports have been submitted) any personal information collected by zinc tank, including respondent identities, sign-in sheets, consent forms and recordings, are destroyed. Any audio and/or video tapes provided by zinc tank to commissioning marketing professionals for the purpose of reviewing the research conducted by Zinctank are later destroyed by Zinctank or the marketing professional, as per privacy legislation requirements.


Onsite & Quantitative Research
A respondent's consent in onsite research and telephone interviews is obtained by asking respondents if they have time to participate in research study. Their approval to participate is considered by our interviewers as explicit consent to proceed with the survey/interview.
A respondent's participation in online research is by nature voluntary because it is a self-completed survey. By clicking the link or proceeding past the first page of a popup survey, implicit consent has been given to conduct the survey.

For all onsite and quantitative research, non-response categories are usually available for most questions (e.g., refused/don't know/not applicable/rather not say). Where questions are deemed critical to a successful completion of a survey and such options are not available, a respondent can discontinue participation, thus withdrawing consent, should they not wish to answer.

Qualitative Research
It is the policy of zinc tank to obtain consent from research respondents prior to any taping and/or viewing of interviews/focus groups. All respondents and/or their guardians are thus made aware that marketing professionals are viewing groups either live and/or by video tape/audio tape; interviews are not conducted if consent is not provided.

Limiting collection
The amount and type of personal information collected will be limited to that which is deemed necessary for the purpose of the study. In almost all cases, personal information is collected for the purpose of grouping aggregate data, rather than for identifying individuals. Any information collected by zinc tank is obtained by fair and lawful means. In rare cases where the purpose is for re-contact, such purposes will be made clear to the respondent prior to answering the question and their consent to do so is explicitly obtained.

Online specific concerns

Most online surveys conducted at zinc tank have temporary "session" cookies placed on the users' computers to maintain connectivity to the web server. These cookies automatically expire as soon as users close their browser session. No personal information is collected by the session cookies.

The web server does collect information about the user's "http environment variables." This is necessary and is done by all web servers. This contains only relevant hardware and software information needed by the web server to do its job. No personal information is collected in this manner.

Limiting use, disclosure & retention

Zinc tank makes use of, or discloses, personal information only for the reason(s) for which it was collected and for which we have obtained consent. Personal information is not used or disclosed for purposes other than those for which it was collected.

For all research, consent to participate in any of our research initiatives is obtained prior to data collection and/or interview, and this is adhered to. For online data collection, the consent given by the respondent is obtained at the time of the survey. The only exception to this stated policy is in cases in which zinc tank is required to disclose information for legal reasons – for example, if issued a subpoena or other court or government orders.

Zinc tank keeps personal information only as long as deemed necessary by the sponsor of the research and it is kept only for the identified purposes. If not provided with a clear instruction on how long to keep personal information, we adhere to the standards of The Canadian Association of Marketing Research Organizations (CAMRO), which requires its members to retain completed hardcopy questionnaires for 12 months and electronic records for 24 months.

Once personal information is no longer needed for its identified purposes or for legal requirements, it is destroyed. Paper records are shredded. Electronic records are erased.

Zinc tank updates personal information only if it is necessary for the purposes for which it was collected. Due to the nature of our research conducted, most contacts are on a one-time basis only, and as such are never modified while stored at zinc tank. For onsite and qualitative research, the accuracy of any information depends on the respondent who provides it.

Should zinc tank be required to keep personal information that is to be used on an ongoing basis (which is not our normal practice), every reasonable effort will be made to ensure the accuracy of these data.


Several security measures are in place to safeguard personal information. The entire office, including the data storage area, has 24-hour electronic security monitoring, to limit unauthorized physical access to the data. Electronic security is ensured by multi-level firewalls and a secure password policy to prevent unauthorized access to personal information stored on the network.

Zinc tank informs all persons granted network access or physical access to areas containing personal information about its policies and procedures regarding confidentiality, security and privacy. The expectation of compliance with these policies is made clear. Confidentiality agreements are routinely signed with third parties engaged in the data collection process, even if they are not privy to personal information.

Zinc tank shreds paper documentation containing personal information in order to prevent unauthorized access at the time of disposal. Old, unused or defective computer hard drives containing personal information are destroyed prior to disposal to prevent data recovery.

Zinc tank is open about the procedures used to safeguard and manage personal information. Access to information about these procedures is available through this Privacy Policy. Further clarifications can be obtained by contacting the Privacy Officer.

Individual Access
Upon request, an individual will be informed of the existence, use and disclosure of any personal information about them that is currently in the possession or control of zinc tank. Individuals can have access to personal information about themselves after providing proof of identity (to ensure personal information is never released to the wrong person inadvertently) and a written request to the Privacy Officer. We will also honour requests to identify the source of an individual's email address, in the case of online surveys, so that the respondent can take steps to ensure their removal from that list should this be desired. If for any reason access to personal information is denied – for example, if the information was collected for the purposes of a legal investigation – a written reply stating the reasons for refusal will be provided. The individual may then challenge zinc tank’s decision.

Challenging Compliance
Zinc tank’s compliance with this Privacy Policy can be challenged by directing any complaints or questions in writing to the Privacy Officer. Zinc tank will investigate all complaints and attempt to resolve those that it finds are justified and, if necessary, we will amend its policies and procedures to reflect these findings. If anyone is unsatisfied with zinc tank's response to their complaint, they can contact the Federal Privacy Commissioner.

Contact our
Privacy Officer


Research Privacy Policy

Zinc tank abides by the Code of Ethics of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association of Canada (MRIA: as well as the Code of Ethics of the Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA:
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