People who complete surveys of SurveyMonkey often ask whether their survey responses are truly anonymous or not. One of the reasons this question arises today is that people are becoming less confident about survey tools out there on the market. SurveyMonkey is a leader in this space with more than 20 years of presence. But this question remains debatable among the people. Can it identify respondents? Can it track you down?
We've researched it, and the answer is that it's not entirely anonymous. Firstly, survey creators can collect your IP addresses along with your answers. And this is a feature that lets you lose your location privacy. This data could be easily used for deanonymization. Though this is entirely in the hands of the survey creators, by this choice, the respondents cannot be sure whether the survey creator is collecting IP addresses or not. Secondly, the data submitted by the respondent to the survey creator isn't truly anonymous. Meaning, the data could be seen by SurveyMonkey as well. This is primarily because of data stored without encryption. People have to trust that they wouldn't access their personal information blindly.
Rafael Pass was the first one to highlight that surveys aren't anonymous as people used to think in a Wired interview. His project Anonize was built to solve this problem. BlockSurvey followed a similar approach later using Blockchain in 2019.
Yes, surveys should be anonymous by choice if you collect data that is deeply personal or sensitive. It is solely a way to do it. Providing anonymity during surveys will make the respondent feel respected. If implemented, it can be efficient listening tools all the time.
Just submitted an employee survey I hope it was anonymous cuz ima be gettting a call from hr real soon if not :(— KIANAJ🐐 (@pure_jadore) August 17, 2020
Company employee surveys are a waste of time - people don't answer honestly out of fear even when they say it's anonymous :(— GamerForLife 🇨🇦 PS5 is in da house :) (@Chuckforevver) September 25, 2012
so i had to take a survey and it gave the option for what gender for me to select and it had nonbinary but idk if it's anonymous so i just chose female.... i hate it here like yes thank you but you're putting me on the spot and it's singling me out :(— eden⁷ ♡'s rae | ONEUS COMEBACK (@squishyhw) September 17, 2020
Such reactions can be found commonly on Twitter and Reddit even today. Over the years, the survey tools have become as intrusive and invasive as any other digital platform. How many times have we heard surveys were used as a vehicle to identify disgruntled employees? Honestly, the tools aren't anonymous at all. Let's look in detail at why they are not.
This very question led us to create BlockSurvey. We didn't see a platform that provides anonymity to the participants or to the data being collected. BlockSurvey helps in creating truly anonymous surveys. We don't provide IP address collection or run any trackers. You are in full control of your data, and you truly own it using your keys. This is possible because of the decentralized tech called Blockchain. It uses Stacks blockchain for enabling this anonymity and security.
The real adoption of anonymous surveys would occur when people seek it and question the status quo on existing platforms today and care about the respondents' privacy and anonymity.