Privacy policy

The Federation of Small Businesses and/or any of its international partners, subsidiaries or associated companies ("We") are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. Thank you for becoming a member of The Big Voice Panel. This is an online research community. We promise that:

  • We will not mislead you about the nature of the research or the use made of the findings;
  • We will not directly sell or promote anything to you

This Privacy Policy (together with our Website (“Our Site”) Terms of Use and any other documents referred to on it) sets out the basis on which any personal data we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by us. Please read the following carefully to understand our views and practices regarding your personal data and how we will treat it.

For the purpose of the UK Data Protection Act 1998 (the “Act”), we are registered with the Information Commission as a Data Controller under registration number Z7356601.


We will collect information about you when you:

  • Register to become a member of The Big Voice Panel;
  • Complete activities on The Big Voice Panel website such as online discussions, focus groups, mini polls or surveys;
  • Email our helpdesk or submit suggestions about The Big Voice Panel website; or
  • Use The Big Voice Panel website.

We may collect and process data about you, including but not limited to the following:

  • Your contact details;
  • Your responses to questionnaires;
  • Comments made in online discussions;
  • Photos or videos uploaded to The Big Voice Panel website or emailed as part of a specific activity;
  • Comments you make in emails; or
  • The number of visits to the various pages of The Big Voice Panel website. For this we use cookies, see our Cookies section below for more information.


Providing additional personal information is up to you. We collect personal information and use it in order to:

  • Notify you of results (including to send you prizes or incentives should you win or be eligible for one),
  • To e-mail you with updates,
  • To review interesting themes and ideas,
  • Send you news,
  • To respond to your questions or comments,
  • To register you for certain features on The Big Voice Panel website; and
  • Identify whom to send certain research activities in order that you are invited to those most relevant to you and to invite you to those relevant research activities.

We may also use your personal information in the long term to deliver you a more personalised experience or to better tailor our products and services to meet your needs.

By submitting your comments, photos, and videos you agree that, in accordance with the terms of the Website Terms of Use, we are able to use these in our presentations and reports, although we will not disclose any of your personal contact details in doing so. We may also share some of this on The Big Voice Panel website; again we will not disclose your personal contact details in doing so.

As with all forms of marketing and opinion research, your co-operation is voluntary at all times. No personal information is sought from or about you without your prior knowledge and agreement. You are entitled at any stage of completing an activity, or subsequently, to ask that part or all of the record of your data be destroyed or deleted. Where reasonable and practical, we will promptly carry out this request.

The Federation of Small Businesses (and those people or companies employed by Verve Partners Limited who help make this Website, its content and its services) will process and use your personal information in order to respond to your feedback – like responding to problems, improving our content and services and gearing what we do to suit your requirements further.

Beyond this we will not share your information with any other company without your consent unless we are required to do so by law, or if you have made a request for specific information. If you give us your consent, we may use your personal data to personalise our offerings and to provide you with more relevant products and services and related information, for example, to make recommendations and to display customised content and advertising in our services. This may include displaying The Federation of Small Businesses and third party content. We may use your personal data for direct marketing or research purposes, for example, to conduct market research or face to face events, and we may in accordance with applicable law, contact you to inform you of news and information relating to new Federation of Small Businesses services, receive invitations to VIP events, details of exclusive privileges and other offers or promotions provided by us, our affiliates and subsidiaries, partners and third parties including those providing services under a contract to The Federation of Small Businesses. We will contact you by the means by which you permit us to do so in such consents.

We will never sell your information to any other company.


We may collect information about your computer, including where available your IP address, operating system and browser type, for system administration and to report aggregate information on the number of visitors to Our Site. This is statistical data about our users' browsing actions and patterns, and does not identify any individual.


The Big Voice Panel website uses a unique URL system which allows you to stop any questionnaire half way through and then link back up with it again from your email invite or via the community / panel website to join the questionnaire at the place where you left off. The storage of information that has been inputted by you before you have completed the full questionnaire is held on a secure server.

For the same reason, we may obtain information about your general internet usage by using a cookie file which is stored on your browser or the hard drive of your computer. Cookies contain information that is transferred to your computer's hard drive. They help us to improve Our Site and to deliver a better and more personalised service. Some of the cookies we use are essential for the site to operate.

Browse-wrap consent

If you register with us or if you continue to use Our Site, you agree to our use of cookies.

Cookies are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site.

Cookie Name Purpose More information


The name of the survey

A cookie is placed on the user's machine when a survey is accessed. It tracks progress through the survey, allowing the respondent to complete the survey over multiple sessions i.e. the respondent is able to close their browser part way through the survey and re-join at a later date at the point that they left off.

The cookie is relevant only to that survey and has a default expiry time of 20 days.



Tracks Anonymous users

Expires 20 minutes from set/update



Tracks Anonymous users

Expires 20 minutes from set/update



Membership Identity

Expires once you leave the site.



Used to verify your membership

Expires once you leave the site.


Stores your portal display name

Expires 24 hours from set/update.


Stores your portal access permissions.

Expires 24 hours from set/update.


Identifies you as a member once logged in.

Expires 26 hours from set/update.



Tells us that you are actively using the site. This way we can always know, at any given time, how many users are visiting the site.

Expires once you leave the site.



Stores your language preference.

Expires once you leave the site.



This cookie is set to re-enable mobile redirect after close browser.

Expires once you leave the site.


This cookie is set to re-enable mobile redirect after 20 minutes.

Expires 20 minutes from set/update.


Save Personalisation data for anonymous user.

Expires 30 days from set/update.



Identifies what group you are part of on the site.

Expires once you leave the site.


If you try to access a page when not logged into the site, you will be redirected to the login page. On logging in, this cookie will take you directly to the page you were trying to access.

Expires 5 minutes after set/update.


This cookie is typically written to the browser upon the first visit to the site from that web browser. If the cookie has been deleted by the browser operator, and the browser subsequently visits the site, a new __utma cookie is written with a different unique ID. This cookie is used to determine unique visitors to the site and it is updated with each page view. Additionally, this cookie is provided with a unique ID that Google Analytics uses to ensure both the validity and accessibility of the cookie as an extra security measure.

Expires 2 years from set/update.


This cookie is used to establish and continue a user session with the site. When a user views a page on the site, the Google Analytics code attempts to update this cookie. If it does not find the cookie, a new one is written and a new session is established. Each time a user visits a different page on the site, this cookie is updated to expire in 30 minutes, thus continuing a single session for as long as user activity continues within 30-minute intervals. This cookie expires when a user pauses on a page on the site for longer than 30 minutes.

Expires 30 minutes from set/update.


This cookie stores the type of referral used by the visitor to reach the site, whether via a direct method, a referring link, a website search, or a campaign such as an ad or an email link. It is used to calculate search engine traffic, ad campaigns and page navigation within your own site. The cookie is updated with each page view to the site.

Expires 6 months from set/update.

You block cookies by activating the setting on your browser which allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or parts of Our Site. Unless you have adjusted your browser setting so that it will refuse cookies, our system will issue cookies as soon you visit Our Site.

Except for essential cookies, all cookies will expire after 2 years.


The data that we collect from you will be transferred to, and stored at, a destination within the European Economic Area ("EEA"). It may also be processed by staff operating outside the EEA who work for us or for one of our suppliers. By submitting your personal data, you agree to this transfer, storing or processing. We and Verve Partners Limited will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

Where we have given you (or where you have chosen) a password which enables you to access certain parts of Our Site, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential. We ask you not to share a password with anyone.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to Our Site; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your personal information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.


We may disclose your personal information to any member of our group, which means our subsidiaries, our ultimate holding company and its subsidiaries, as defined in section 1159 of the UK Companies Act 2006.

We may disclose your personal information to third parties:

  • In the event that we sell or buy any business or assets, in which case we may disclose your personal data to the prospective seller or buyer of such business or assets.
  • If The Federation of Small Businesses or substantially all of its assets are acquired by a third party, personal data held by it about its customers may be one of the transferred assets, in which case we may disclose your personal information to such third party.
  • If we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation, or in order to enforce or apply our Website Terms of Use and other agreements; or to protect the rights, property, or safety of The Federation of Small Businesses, our customers, or others. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organisations for the purposes of fraud protection and credit risk reduction.


Personal information disclosed by you in the registration questionnaire (your name, e-mail address, postcode, year of birth) will be stored securely, but by its nature will not be anonymous. If you update your personal details on this site, these changes will be made to your community registration records only, and will not be disclosed for any other purpose.

As with all market research conducted by us, the UK Market Research Society Code of Conduct will be followed at all times. See for more information.


Our Site may, from time to time, contain links to and from the websites of our partner networks, advertisers and affiliates. If you follow a link to any of these websites, please note that these websites have their own privacy policies and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these policies. Please check these policies before you submit any personal data to these websites.


Our policy is to allow members to unsubscribe from The Big VoicePanel. You can do this by emailing the community manager on You can also use this same email address if you experience any problems.

If you have asked us to stop sending you emails and this hasn’t happened it may be because the email address to which we are sending them is not the same as the address you sent your request from. Please check the address we are using and include this information in your request. The easiest way to do this is to return to us the whole of the unwanted email. The address we are sending to is included within the message.


The Act gives you the right to access information we hold about you. Your right of access can be exercised in accordance with the terms of the Act.


Any changes we may make to our Privacy Policy in the future will be posted on this page and, where appropriate, notified to you by e-mail.


Questions, comments and requests regarding this Privacy Policy are welcomed and should be addressed to the community manager at or The Federation of Small Businesses customer services at

© The Federation of Small Businesses 2014