Privacy Issues

Internet privacy is a cultural and legal minefield which is continuing to evolve, so it is critical to keep an eye on developments. Privacy issues deal with “individually identifiable information” such as name, address, telephone, and e-mail address, as well as peripheral information if it is linked to individually identifiable data.

View the Apian/Surveyhost privacy policy

When using the SurveyHost service, the client is solely responsible for compliance with all applicable legislation about privacy. Please make sure that you are legally authorized to collect the information you are collecting, and that you have adequate policies in place for how the data will be stored and managed in-house once you’ve downloaded your survey data.

Privacy Policies

A privacy policy is simply a legal statement of what you plan to do with the information you’re collecting. If you’re not sure about your policies then don’t write a statement–you’re better off making no promises than with broken ones which provide a nice basis for a lawsuit against you. Here’s a rough checklist for a policy, but anything you post should really be run past your lawyer.

How are you using the data?

  • Is the data for an absolute one-time use for the exact purpose stated in the questionnaire?
  • Might you yourself use the data for another purpose at a later time? (for example, data collected from one survey used to invite respondents to another study)
  • Are you an intermediary for a client?
  • Would you ever trade, sell, or give the list to a third party?

Sections to include:

Government Sites for Privacy Legislation

Private Organizations for Information, News, or Membership

Center for Democracy and Technology

Electronic Privacy Information Center