Confidentially Tips

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What is a privacy policy?

Privacy Policies

Every website that you sign up with to complete surveys should have a fully viewable privacy policy. In this policy, they will explain exactly what they have the right to do with the information they gather from you. They should explain that they have precautions in place so that your private information is not released beyond their company, the payment processors they use, and their marketing partners. Also, they are required to disclose your information when required by law.
The privacy policy will also outline whom they can choose to share your personal information with. Be aware, the partner sites have their own privacy policies that should be read and understood.

What are the consequences to panelists who are indiscreet?

Consequences of Indiscretion by Panelists

The penalties of indiscretion by panelists are clear-cut. If a survey company finds out that you have been on message boards telling others about the surveys you have taken and inside details about the company or the surveys, your account will automatically be terminated and you will no longer be allowed to take surveys for that company. Although the penalties would be the same whether you were talking about the company online or offline, the former is easier to find and prove.

Who can see your personal information?

Who Can See Your Personal Information?

With all the security issues plaguing the Internet and the need for confidentiality when it comes to private personal information, survey companies are being very careful about who can access the information they have collected from you. Most survey companies only allow access of your information to the employees and agents who may need it to process your account. Anyone else is denied access. These employees and agents are held accountable to not use your personal information for anything other than their specific job function. Marketing partners or clients may also given your information for the purpose of adding your name to their mailing list and solicitations. These companies have their own privacy policies, which should reflect that the same type of care is taken of your private information.

What information is collected from my computer?

Information Collected From Your Computer

While visiting websites, including survey sites like i-Say, information is most likely collected from your computer automatically that gives the company demographic information about the visiting population. The information collected may include IP addresses, type of browser you are using, Internet service provider, operating system, date and time you visited and what links or ads you clicked while there. This information does not identify you personally, but is used to analyze trends in the people who visit the site and to track what people are looking at when they visit. In cases of fraud or misuse of the website, this information could be linked to collected personal information for investigation.

What are the consequences to companies who violate privacy policies?

Consequences to Companies Who Violate Privacy Policies

Companies who violate the privacy of panelists they are supposed to protect are at great risk of losing their business due to legal action and destruction through loss of reputation. Any panelist who fears their privacy has been violated can contact the local Better Business Bureau and file a report. They can also contact the company for resolution.

What are the privacy policies for children?

Privacy Policy for Children

Most survey sites have rules that exclude children under a certain age limit. The age limit varies depending on what types of surveys are offered. These sites do not usually collect information from children under the age limit. If they do unknowingly collect information or a parent has reason to believe the child has disclosed information, they can contact the survey site immediately. All information on the minor child will be deleted.

Why is confidentiality so important?

Why is Confidentiality so Important?

Confidentiality of information protects against unauthorized use or unintended access. Confidentiality is an integral part of the online security process along with system availability and integrity of the data. If confidentiality or privacy is violated, the security of the system is breached. Security of online data systems is what allows companies like survey sites to store personal information without fear of violating privacy policies. The burden is on both the panelists as well as the site's management to follow the privacy regulations.

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Carma Spence-Pothitt