YouDirect privacy and cookies notice

Last updated: 21 February 2019

YouGov is an ethical user of personal data. Without the trust of everyone who answers our questions, we could not produce the research that helps our clients make better decisions. The security of your personal data is important to us, too.

We’ve tried to make the privacy notice that follows as easy to read as possible. If anything in here is unclear, please contact us at, and we’ll be happy to clear it up.

What this notice covers

As an organisation that relies on the use of personal data, YouGov is responsible for collecting and using your data in a responsible way and that starts with clearly telling you how we collect, use and protect your personal data when you participate in YouDirect.  This notice sets out:

  • What kind of personal data we may collect from you;
  • How and why we collect and use your personal data;
  • Why we may share personal data within YouGov and with other organisations; and
  • The rights and choices you have when it comes to your personal data.

YouGov is made up of a number of companies, each of which separately controls the data provided to it by our panellists and those who otherwise participate in surveys or browse our website (“user”).  If you are a panellist who registered in the UK, YouGov Plc (referred to as “we”, “us”, “our” or “YouGov”) is the controller of your personal data. This means we choose why and how that data is processed.  We are based at 50 Featherstone St, London, EC1Y 8RT, United Kingdom.

Personal data we collect

In this section we explain what personal data we may collect when you join YouDirect, as well as data that we may collect from you in the course of being a member of YouGov’s panel


YouDirect is an exciting new way of interacting with YouGov.  By downloading the YouDirect app you have the opportunity to earn money in return for answering questions, interacting with advertising and completing tasks served to you within the app.

In addition to the data described in this section, we use information that you have previously provided to us as a member of YouGov’s panel, such as responses to surveys you have previously completed.  We use this information to invite you to participate in surveys and to show you ads within the YouDirect app that we think will most interest you.

You can read our panellist privacy and cookies notice to remind yourself of the data that we may collect from you as a YouGov panellist.  Remember that you always control how much data you share with us, and we will only retain your personal data for as long as we need to in order to fulfil the uses we describe in this notice (or until you exercise your right to erasure, which is explained in the ‘Your Rights’ section of this notice).

When you answer survey questions in the YouDirect app, we collect:

  • Your opinions on social and political issues, companies and brands
  • Information about your behaviours, for example what shops you like to shop in, what TV shows you have recently watched, or what kind of things you own
  • Device and browser “metadata” (basically an audit trail of your device and browser use), including IP address, the make, model and operating system of the device you have used and browser type (this data is collected automatically when you answer questions in surveys or browse our website or mobile apps)

When convert your points into money, we collect:

  • Your bank details, so that we can transfer the money you’ve earned directly into your account via BACS transfer

When you use the YouDirect app, we collect:

  • Information through the use of cookies and similar technologies (you can find out more by reading the ‘Cookies and similar technologies’ section of this notice).


How and why we use your personal data, and who we share it with

In this section we explain how and why we use your personal data, and which other organisations we may share it with


We use the data that you share with us within the YouDirect app, and information that you’ve previously provided to us as a member of YouGov’s panel, to give you the best experience possible as you participate in YouDirect.  We describe these uses, and the appropriate legal grounds for processing, in more detail below.  If you have any questions about the grounds under which we process your personal data, or would like to find out more about the approach we take to determine that these grounds apply, please contact our Data Protection Officer using the contact details in the ‘Contact Us’ section.

We use personal data to…

For example…

Legal ground for processing

Register, authenticate and administer your account

We use your email address and the password that you have chosen to sign you into the YouDirect app via YouGov’s website

Legitimate interests.

Select and invite you to participate in activities within the YouDirect app

If a client wanted to know what people who live in a certain region and demographic think about soft drinks, we will use your postcode and other demographic data to determine whether you qualify for a particular survey or will be served a particular ad

Legitimate interests.

Serve you with ads within the YouDirect app

We will use information that you have provided to us in YouDirect app, and the course of your YouGov membership (such as your age, gender, location and income), to show you ads that we think you may be interested in.  Because the advertising happens within the YouGov system, your data is never transferred any advertisers without additional permission from you.

You have complete control over the types of data that we use to tailor the ads that you will see within the YouDirect app.  When you open the YouDirect app for the first time we will ask you to complete the Profile section, where you can select the types of data that you’re happy for us to use to serve ads within the app.  You can of course change your preferences at any time within the Profile section.


Help YouDirect Partners to improve their advertising

If you agree to us doing so, we will pass identifying data to certain YouDirect Partners, who will combine the data with the data they already hold about you to improve the way they tailor their advertising (but they will only contact you if they already have permission to do so).

In such cases you will be asked in a survey if you are willing to provide certain data (such as your survey responses and your email address) to a named YouDirect Partner.  Whether you share this data or not is completely up to you – if you do not want to share the requested data it will have no impact on your continued participation in YouDirect.

You can withdraw your consent at any time by emailing


Credit you with the points and rewards that you earn from participating in research opportunities

We will use your bank account details to pay you via BACS transfer if you convert your points into money

Legitimate interests.

Produce aggregated and anonymous insights for our clients and partners

We may combine your survey responses and information about your use of the YouDirect app with answers from other respondents and turn them into aggregated insights for our clients and partners, such as reports, whitepapers or articles.  It will not be possible for our clients or partners to identify you in these insights.

Legitimate interests.

Develop and improve our services

We use your survey responses to improve our research tools and methods, which helps us ensure that we are giving you and our clients the best possible experience

Legitimate interests.

Respond to you when you exercise any of your rights relating to the data we hold about you (explained further in the ‘Your Rights’ section)

We will use your account information and internal identifiers to identify the data that is relevant to your request and respond to you

Legitimate interests.

Detect and prevent fraudulent activity

We use your IP address to ensure your location matches the location of the panel that you joined, and we sometimes repeat questions during surveys to check for inattention or other indicators of poor quality responses

Legitimate interests.


In order to use your personal data in the ways described above, we may share it within YouGov, with trusted third parties who provide services to us, and on rare occasions with clients (but only if you have agreed to that specifically, within the relevant survey). Here is some more information about the types of organisation and what we may share with them:

YouGov Group companies

YouGov is a global organisation.  This means that some of the personal data that we collect may be transferred within the YouGov Group of companies, for example when a client wants to run a survey in multiple countries, or our global data teams analyse data from across our global panel.

Our clients

Our business is built on providing clients with anonymised research insights. On occasion, our clients may ask to combine your survey responses with their own data to obtain even greater insights. In such cases you will be asked in the relevant survey if you are willing to provide certain identifying data (such as your email address or a social media handle) to our clients to enable this. Whether you share this data or not is completely up to you – if you do not want to provide the requested data it will have no impact on the points you can earn or your participation in future research opportunities.

Our service providers

We work with trusted service providers that carry out certain functions on our behalf so we can provide our services to you. 

These organisations process data on our behalf. They only have access to the personal data that they absolutely need to provide the specific service to us, and in all cases we have contractual safeguards in place to ensure that they do not disclose or use it for any other purposes. In some cases, these organisations (for example our payment processors) may need to process your personal data for their own specific purposes, for example to ensure they are compliant with regulations or laws governing their own sectors.

Our service providers fall within the following categories (and process your data in the following location(s)):

  • Processors of cash payments, gift cards and other incentives (European Economic Area (“EEA”), USA)
  • Data collection technology providers (EEA, USA)
  • Cloud data storage (EEA)
  • Communications platforms and technologies (EEA)

Other organisations

These circumstances are unusual, but we may share personal data with other organisations if:

  • we have to share your information to comply with legal or regulatory requirements (or we reasonably believe that we need to disclose your information for such purposes);
  • we need to share personal data in order to establish, exercise or defend our legal rights, including with our legal and other professional advisors;
  • we restructure our business or if we buy or sell any business or assets we may share your data with the prospective buyer or seller;
  • all or substantially all of our company assets are acquired by another party, your data will be one of the transferred assets


If you don’t want us to make use of your personal data in any of the ways described above, then participating in YouDirect is not for you – you should either not download the app at all, or delete the app entirely.

Transferring personal data outside the EEA

We take all steps possible to ensure that your personal data remains within the European Economic Area (“EEA”).  However, in some cases we need to share data with other YouGov group companies or third parties that are in countries outside the EEA, as described earlier.  These countries may not have similar data protection laws to the UK and so they may not protect the use of your personal information to the same extent.

In these cases we put in place appropriate safeguards to make sure your personal data remains adequately protected.  Specifically, we make use of one of the following:

  • Standard contractual clauses: we use standard contractual clauses for the transfer of personal data to organisations outside the EEA.  These contractual commitments have been adopted by the European Commission and ensure adequate protection for personal data transferred to countries outside the EEA by binding recipients of personal data to certain data protection standards including obliging them to apply appropriate technical and security measures.  We use standard contractual clauses when we transfer data to other YouGov Group companies and for transfers to recipients that are neither Privacy Shield certified nor located in a country covered by an adequacy decision (see below).
  • EU-US Privacy Shield: the Privacy Shield is a program agreed between the EU and US which aims to protect the personal data of anyone in the EU when it is transferred to the US by placing data protection obligations on US companies that receive personal data from the EU.  YouGov may rely on these safeguards when transferring data to companies based in the US where those companies are Privacy Shield certified.
  • Adequacy decisions: where the European Commission has determined that a country outside the EU offers an adequate level of data protection, personal data may be sent to that third country without implementing any other safeguards mentioned above.  YouGov may rely on adequacy decisions when transferring data to companies based in countries where such assurances have been given.


How we store and protect your personal data

We know how important it is to protect your personal data while we have it.  This section describes some of the measures we take to ensure that it is kept secure


We do everything we can to protect your personal data from loss or misuse, and from unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration and destruction.  This section describes some of the measures we take to ensure that your personal data is secure:

  • We use data centres that have a high level of physical security measures to host and protect your data and our systems;
  • We conduct independent penetration tests and are continuously scanning our systems and applications for vulnerabilities in our systems; if you ever think that you have found a security issue or vulnerability in one of our systems please let us know at;
  • We use encryption to secure your personal data whilst it is in transit using TLS and in storage using AES256 encryption;
  • We allow access to attributable data (by which we mean data that directly identifies you) only to those YouGov employees who need it to carry out their job responsibilities, for example our support team to allow them to respond to you when you contact us;
  • We make security the responsibility of all our employees and we train our staff to identify security risks and protect your data.

Our website may from time to time contain links to and from other websites.  If you follow a link to any of those websites, please note that those websites ought to have their own privacy notices and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for those websites.  Please check those privacy notices before you submit your information to those websites.

Emails and notifications

This section explains the emails and notifications we may send you


If you join YouDirect, it is integral to your participation that we are able to send you emails and notifications inviting you to participate in YouDirect.  By its nature most of our research is time-sensitive, and without the ability to notify you that we would like your opinion you’ll be at a disadvantage to other panellists because you’ll miss out on opportunities to share your opinion and earn points.  If you would prefer not to receive these service messages, you will need to withdraw from YouDirect entirely.

In relation to all the emails and notifications mentioned above, we rely on our legitimate interest in running YouDirect – and ensuring our panellists are adequately informed about their account with us – as the legal grounds for this processing.

Cookies and similar technologies

We use “cookies” to improve your experience as you use the YouDirect app.  This section tells you about the cookies that we use, what they do and your choices when it comes to cookies


Cookies are small data files that allow a website to collect and store a range of data on your desktop computer, laptop or mobile device.  We use cookies and similar technologies, such as tags and pixels (“cookies”) to help us to provide functionality on the YouDirect app and generally improve the way it works.  We only use cookies that YouGov sets (called ‘first party cookies’) on the YouDirect app, and these are listed on the table below.  You can find more about how you can delete and manage cookies at

Cookie name

What this cookie is used for


This cookie allows us to recognise you during your use of the YouDirect app


Your rights

This section explains the rights that you have in relation to the personal data that we hold about you

You have certain rights in relation to the personal data that we hold about you, which are designed to give you more choice and control over your personal data.  These rights are explained below.


What does this mean?

Is it available to you?

The right to request access to personal data

You can request a copy of the data we hold about you and related information


The right to request rectification of personal data

You can ask us to correct any inaccurate data about you and to complete any incomplete data that we hold about you


The right to request erasure of personal data

You can request that we delete the personal data we hold about you

Yes, in certain situations

The right to request a restriction on processing of personal data

You can request that we restrict our use of your data to storage only, that we stop using it for all other purposes or that we retain data that was due for deletion.

Yes, in certain situations

The right to object to the processing of personal data

You can object to certain types of processing of your personal data in certain specific circumstances

Yes, in certain situations

The right of data portability

You have the right to receive a copy of your personal data in a structured and machine-readable format and, where possible, have this sent to another organisation

Yes, in certain situations


Automated decision-making

We do not envisage that any decisions that will have a legal or other significant effect on you will be taken about you using purely automated means, however we will update this notice if this position changes and notify you of those changes.

Exercising your rights

You can exercise any of these rights by using the contact details below.  Once you have submitted your request we may contact you to request further information to authenticate your identity (because we want to make sure it is actually you requesting your data) or to help us to respond to your request.  Except in rare cases, we will respond to you within 1 month of receiving this information or, where no such information is required, after we have received full details of your request.  As noted above, while some rights apply generally, some are only available in certain circumstances, so if we feel that any right is not available to you we will let you know along with the reason for our decision.


Mail:      The Data Protection Officer

YouGov Plc

50 Featherstone Street
United Kingdom


Lodging a complaint with a regulator

You have the right to lodge a complaint with a data protection regulator in Europe, in particular in a country you work or live, where your legal rights have been infringed or where your personal information has or is being used in a way that you believe does not comply with data. The contact details for the Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”), the UK’s independent regulatory body that upholds information rights, are available on their website, which also contains details on how to make a complaint.  However, we encourage you to contact us before making any complaint and we will seek to resolve any issues or concerns you may have.

How to contact us

If you have any questions, concerns or feedback, please contact the Panel Manager.


Mail:      Panel Manager

YouGov plc

50 Featherstone Street
United Kingdom


Updates to this notice

This notice was last updated on the date that appears at the beginning of the notice.  While we reserve the right to change this notice at any time, if any material changes are made we will provide notice to you via email or any other appropriate means.



YouGov Direct trial FAQs

What is YouGov Direct?

YouGov Direct is a platform that will improve digital advertising for everyone run through our YouDirect app. In return for interacting with adverts, offers and research questions served to them, people can earn credits which can then be cashed in as real money. Consumers win because they only receive advertising that’s really relevant to them, and advertisers win because they know they’re talking to the people they really want to be talking to. Further details can be found at


What do I need to do, as a user?

You’ll need to download the YouDirect app on your smartphone. You’ll use the email address and password you use for your YouGov account to login to the YouDirect app. The app allows you to add data points you wish to allow organisations to use in order to target you in your profile. Then it’s up to you to choose which of the opportunities you wish to participate with. The actions you’ll need to take will differ for each opportunity, but they will all involve watching adverts or answering questions. The more you do, the more you’ll earn. 


How will I be notified of opportunities to participate?

We’ll let you know there’s something for you to do via push notifications, so don’t turn those off! In addition, all live opportunities appear on the invitations section of the app.


Who receives my personal data and how do they use it?

Only YouGov holds your personal data. We act as a trusted, secure platform: consumers share data with YouGov, and advertisers can use the YouDirect app to target ads at their desired audience (for example, young men, or Londoners over the age of 35 who regularly use public transport). Advertisers never get any individual’s personal data, they are just able to define the characteristics of the kind of person they want to see their advert. Each interaction you have with adverts, offers and research questions within the app is indelibly recorded in the blockchain, so you have an auditable record of how many credits you’ve earned! 

You may also be asked questions by our clients within the app (for example, “do you prefer beach holidays or city breaks?”) that will also then be used within the trial to target adverts to you.

Finally, we may ask if you are willing to provide certain data (such as your survey responses and your email address) to a named Partner, so that they can combine that data with data they already hold about you to improve the way they tailor their advertising. We will only share that data if you agree to us doing so (if you’re not interested that’s fine, it will have no impact on your continued participation), and - if you agree - the Partner will still only contact you if they already have permission to do so.


How do I cash out my earnings?

The YouDirect app will shortly allow every user to cash out as soon as they have earned £2 direct to their bank account. We will notify all users when this function is live.


Can I exchange my earnings on the YouDirect app for points on my regular YouGov account?

Money earned thgouth the YouDirect app cannot be exchanged for YouGov points.


Can my friends or family participate in the trial too?

Yes! As long as they're also a YouGov member, they are able to download the app and participate too!