Privacy Policy

PappasVolk is committed to protecting the privacy and security of personal information. As we investigate challenges in social and education policy, commerce, media, and other traditional and emerging industries, we’re dedicated to building and maintaining trust with our clients and research participants. We strive to meet or exceed the privacy expectations crafted by our industry, our research partners, government bodies, and – most importantly – each and every person who agrees to share their personal information.

We do not conduct sales or direct marketing campaigns in conjunction with any of our research projects; personal information gathered as part of our research is not intended for use in soliciting participants to buy products or services, donate money, or participate in any other commercial activities.

As a research firm, the services conducted by PappasVolk are exempted from many high-profile legislative efforts, including CAN-SPAM and the National Do Not Call Registry. It is our goal, however, to embrace the spirit of such legislation to build and maintain trust, ensure the security of personal information, and increase the effectiveness of our research efforts.

Should you have any other questions or concerns about PappasVolk or our privacy policies and practices, please feel free to contact us at ombudsman (at) pappasvolk (dot) com.

Personal Information & Data Security

Any personal information provided to PappasVolk is treated with the utmost care. In the vast majority of cases, participant responses are combined with those of other participants, analyzed, and presented to our clients in an aggregate format. Exceptions to this approach will generally be noted in either the recruiting letter(s) or the introductions to a particular research project.

PappasVolk will never intentionally mislead participants about how their data will be used, as well-informed participants lead to more honest and open dialog and, ultimately, to more successful research projects. Please note, however, that if a participant makes a request of PappasVolk, and to fulfill such a request requires the disclosure of personal information, we will seek to release only the information absolutely required to fulfill such requests. Also, it is possible that PappasVolk may be requested or required by law or compelled by court order to disclose personal information; in such cases, PappasVolk will seek to comply with established and valid legal authority.

Access to raw research data is limited to authorized PappasVolk employees, third party vendors/contractors, or partners conducting legitimate research or other business activities. All employees and third parties with access to our data stores are required to abide by PappasVolk confidentiality and data handling practices and to use such information only for the purposes for which it was collected.

PappasVolk and our technology partners/service providers work in concert to ensure that our data stores are protected by proven, industry-standard technologies and processes, including secured servers, firewalls, and other systems. While no modern computing system can be absolutely secure, we work hard to minimize risk and protect sensitive data.


One of the primary pieces of legislation regulating unsolicted email messages is the CAN-SPAM Act. As per the Federal Trade Commission, compliance with the CAN-SPAM act relates to "email whose primary purpose is advertising or promoting a commercial product or service, including content on a Web site." PappasVolk does not advertise or promote products or services via email; such communications are strictly used to extend invitations to participate in surveys or other research.

While CAN-SPAM does not strictly apply to communications from PappasVolk, we work to embrace the spirit of the law, as follows:

  • We do not use false or misleading header information; from/to data is generally set as one of PappasVolk's principal researchers or as one of the actual sponsors (client) of the research.
  • No intentionally-deceptive subject lines are used.
  • Recipients of research invitations may reply by email and ask to be removed from the recruiting list for that project. We'll do our best to remove an email address as soon as possible, though additional invitations may be received before we're able to remove a particular address from the list.
  • Invitation recipients may reply to email communications from PappasVolk and our staff will take appropriate action, whether providing additional information on the project or processing list-removal requests.
  • PappasVolk is happy to honor - on a project by project basis - requests from individuals who would prefer not to participate or receive additional recruiting contacts.


While PappasVolk conducts the bulk of our recruiting and research via email and the web, we occasionally rely on telephone calls for recruiting (asking for participation), for facilitating research participation (a researcher working with a participant to complete a telephone interview), or for conducting supplemental interviews or other research tasks. We're aware that phone calls can sometimes be annoying, so we try to minimize the total number of calls we make, and do the best we can to ensure we're not calling at especially inconvenient times.

We also try to embrace the spirit of legislation intended to minimize the intrusiveness of unsolicited telephone contacts, such as the National Do Not Call Registry. However, the FTC notes that "Placing your number on the National Do Not Call Registry will stop most telemarketing calls, but not all. Because of limitations in the jurisdiction of the FTC and FCC, calls from or on behalf of political organizations, charities, and telephone surveyors would still be permitted, as would calls from companies with which you have an existing business relationship, or those to whom you’ve provided express agreement in writing to receive their calls." (

Additionally, the FTC indicates that "If the call is really for the sole purpose of conducting a survey, it is not covered. Only telemarketing calls are covered — that is, calls that solicit sales of goods or services. Callers purporting to take a survey, but also offering to sell goods or services, must comply with the National Do Not Call Registry." (

While the National Do Not Call Registry does not strictly apply to communications from PappasVolk, we work to embrace the spirit of the law, as follows:

  • We will never intentionally mislead potential participants about the nature of the call, our participation as researchers, or the sponsors of the research.
  • Potential participants may decline to participate.
  • Potential participants may ask to be removed from the recruiting list for that specific project. We'll do our best to remove a phone number as soon as possible, though additional calls may be received before we're able to remove a particular phone number from the list.

Postal Mail

From time to time, PappasVolk will recruit participants for our research projects using letters sent via the US Postal Service. Recipients of PappasVolk postal recruitment letters may decline to participate in specific research projects by writing their name and a clear statement of their intention not to participate on the survey form (e.g. "decline," "no thanks" etc.) and returning the survey to us in the enclosed, stamped envelope. We'll process such requests as soon as we receive them, but please note that it is possible that subsequent recruitment letters may be in the mail before we've received your request to participate.