Privacy and Data Collection in Online Surveys

Blocksurvey blog author
Written by Ivan Bojko
Feb 6, 2024 · 4 mins read

Data collection via online surveys is a very powerful tool if you use it correctly. It can dramatically improve your product and marketing.

If you want to make your ebook maker or another tool better, you may use confidential online surveys to collect user feedback. The more data you collect the better as it will provide valuable consumer insight. Based on the feedback, you can roll out improved features of your tool.

You can use different tactics to increase the number of responses. For example, offer your respondents some exclusive incentives.

In addition, make sure you use a reputable survey platform like BlockSurvey to collect the data confidentially. Maintain a high level of privacy as people care about protecting their identities. In fact, according to a survey conducted in 2021 and published on Statista, more than 50% of respondents shared their concerns about privacy. This number is only likely to increase.

Levels of privacy concerns - 2021: Source

In this article, we’ll delve into some key elements regarding data collection in online surveys and privacy.

Why is It Important to Keep Survey Responses Confidential?

If you plan to conduct online surveys, always consider the confidentiality of your respondents. All collected responses should be kept confidential and treated in accordance with The Data Protection Act.

Make sure you clearly explain to people that their data will always remain confidential. Not only will this give them peace of mind, but also they will be more willing to participate in your survey. As a result, you’ll significantly increase the survey response rate.

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Here’s another aspect to take into account every time you collect data using online surveys. Clearly mention how you intend to use the collected data. Most people who take the survey want their data used exclusively for your research and nothing else. If you'd like to collect personal information for future use, you must advise them with an option in the survey form to say no.

You should also comply with The Data Protection Act. This is a set of 'data protection principles' aimed at regulating the use of personal information. Anyone handling data must follow them. If you'd like to collect the data from survey participants, you need to ensure the data is:

  • Used legally and fairly.
  • Used only for clear, specific reasons.
  • Relevant, adequate, and not too much.
  • Accurate.
  • Kept only as long as needed.
  • Managed respecting the data rights of respondents.
  • Kept 100% secure and safe.

Make sure survey responses are kept private. It will encourage more people to finish the survey and give honest answers.

How to Protect the Privacy of Your Survey Respondents in 5 Efficient Ways

Now that you understand the importance of keeping survey data confidential, let’s dive deeper and learn how to protect your survey takers. Here are 5 effective tips:

1. Only Collect the Data You Really Need

Think strategically to get the data you’d like to collect from the respondents. Do you really need to know their credit card information or social security numbers? If not, do not include these questions in your survey. Also, if gender is not needed, do not use it. You get the point, right?

2. Provide All Participants with a Privacy Note

Send a privacy note clearly informing survey takers how you intend to use their information. Also, mention how long you plan to store their data and who will have access. It will help you build more trust with survey takers, making them more willing to participate.

3. Opt for a Highly Reliable and Secure Survey Conducting Tool

Make sure you do your own due diligence to find a trustworthy and safe survey platform. Don’t opt for the cheapest or first you come across. Study the survey tool and its features to understand if it’s really suitable for you. Does it comply with industry standards? Is it secure enough? Does it encrypt the data? How handy is it? Answer all these questions and create a spreadsheet where you compare 3-5 such tools. Finally, rate them and make a well-informed decision based on your ratings.

4. Get Consent from Survey Takers

It’s highly recommended to obtain consent from people before you start collecting their data. The more you are transparent and honest, the better it will be for your brand. Why? Because you’ll establish a higher level of trust with people. In fact, respondents will highly appreciate this and be more open to taking your survey.

5. Make Your Survey Anonymous

If you don’t need to know the names of the survey participants, make your survey anonymous. Don’t collect their names. The result? More people will be willing to participate in your survey. You can also eliminate email addresses, as they put people off, fearing their inboxes will be bombarded with spam. Also, you can reassure survey participants that you won’t be collecting their IP addresses. It will improve your survey response rate.

These are the 5 tips to improve your surveys and make them more confidential, leading to better overall results.


People care about their privacy and confidentiality while taking surveys online. Over 50% of participants of the Statista survey conducted in 2021 shared their concerns about privacy. Ignore this at your peril. Arm yourself with the tips in this article and make your surveys better and more confidential.

Privacy and Data Collection in Online Surveys FAQ

What Are the Most Common Privacy Concerns with Online Surveys?

Collecting sensitive data, the risk of data breaches, and the possibility of unauthorized access to the data by third parties are the most common privacy concerns with online surveys. Plus, there is always a chance your data may be used for some undisclosed purposes.

What Personal Data Is Collected in Online Surveys?

To avoid survey participants submitting the same survey several times, many survey organizers ask for some personal data. It includes information about income, gender, age, race, and education. Never share sensitive information like credit card details or social security numbers. Only scammers ask for such details.

Is It Safe to Participate in Online Surveys?

In general, yes it is safe to participate in online surveys since legitimate brands conduct them. However, you need to keep in mind that sometimes scammers and cybercriminals create surveys to collect data from users.

What Should I Do To Protect Participant Privacy Efficiently in Online Surveys?

There are many ways you can protect the privacy of survey participants when you are conducting online surveys. First of all, use a reliable and safe survey platform. Also, limit the private data you collect from respondents. Obtain consent from survey participants prior to data collection. Explain how you plan to access and process their data. Provide a privacy notice, explaining how you’ll handle the data, who’ll access it, and how long you’ll keep it for.

How Can Online Survey Platforms Ensure the Confidentiality of Respondents' Data?

Data encryption, well-protected and secure servers, and firewalls are the most common methods that online survey platforms use to ensure user confidentiality. Furthermore, anonymization techniques can be used to take out personally identifiable information.

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blog author description

Ivan Bojko

Ivan Bojko is a professional copywriter and CMO at ContentAdore. When he is not busy helping companies attract more customers with content in 30+ languages, he climbs mountains for fun. He is fond of trekking through mountain trails and camping by serene lakes. His love for the outdoors isn't just a hobby. It fuels his advocacy for preserving these natural wonders. Whether he's presenting at conferences or enjoying a quiet sunrise over a mountain lake, Ivan is constantly inspired by the beauty of the wild.


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