nVision and GDPR

GDPR defines two types of responsible persons under the act: Data Controllers and Data Processors.


For the purpose of an nVision interview, the interviewer is a processor and the platform acts as the data controller on behalf of the research agency behind the project. There are a number of scenarios where nVision may be employed, but the core question remains – “what rights are there for an nVision interviewer to approach a potential respondent?”

One of the principal ideas behind nVision was to help maintain employment for interviewers whose professional engagement, prior to Covid-19, had been face-to-face work and therefore there are two primary scenarios:

  1. Pure Random Sampling: to replicate those cases where the interviewer was doing a random walk survey in a neighbourhood either knocking on doors, or approaching persons at random in the street, then the supply of a list of random telephone numbers is sufficient to provide a similar random sample. Importantly, such numbers have NO personal data associated with them (not even a name); they cannot therefore be in breach of the act.
  2. Recall interviews or specific targeted sample: replicating those cases where contact information (including postal address) was supplied together with relevant data qualifying the respondent in some way.

Often scenario a) would have been employed for quantitative studies of some kind, whereas scenario b) was the more specialised area possibly involving qualitative studies, or panel work.

Either way, it is necessary for the nVision interviewer to explicitly obtain / renew the required permissions. In particular, it is important to be explicit as to whether any part of the interview will be recorded and to gain the right opt-in accordingly.

With regard to the interview and subsequent actions whenever the interview is NOT recorded then the position remains the same as previously was the case with face to face research. The data is maintained in confidence and used for statistical purposes only and, normally, it will be stored in such a way as to ensure that the information cannot be identified to the respondent.

When a recording of the interview is made, then the research agency must provide the interviewer with a precise description as to the use that will be made of that recording. That information should then be provided to the respondent, before their permission to record is obtained.

For our part Sample Answers retains all nVision recordings for up to 1 month after the end of the fieldwork period and then they are destroyed. The only records we maintain is the list of links for the study as provided to the research agency and the associated tools requested for each interview.

Click here for more information on nVision.

Click here for more information on data privacy.