A red door with letterbox, Sign above says "Private"

Surveys and Data Privacy

A whirlwind on community leaders, procurement and data privacy.

I attended an online workshop with community leaders, which drew on some of my work. It deals with misinformation and public health compliance. I’m interested in the types of questions leaders asked and what issues they see are pertinent in their communities.

In the morning, I had a meeting with my colleague and another partner for our cyber security training game. We’ve received the quote from the consultants, which I need to respond to. For example, time frames and requirements.

We need to get the quote sorted this week so that we can progress with the procurement and contract, which sounds boring, but is a lot of work.

Another interesting tid bit from today is that we were sent an organisational survey in my workplace. The research is being done by an external company. I have questions about the informed consent. At the beginning, it says, “your survey is completely anonymous.” Then there is a large slab of text. At the bottom it says some identifiable data may be passed back to our organisation. Each person appeared to get a personalised link (my link could not be opened by a colleague). This also suggests data may not be anonymised.

If a survey is anonymous, then data privacy must be maintained. I sent my concerns to our data analyst who sent it to senior leaders.

More generally, everybody’s data rights are protected around Australia by the Privacy Act. There’s also national guidelines for human research ethics. They only apply to research studies. They don’t necessarily apply to internal human resource surveys that won’t be externally published. Nevertheless, they’re sound principles that all organisations should follow.

A good survey maintains trust and privacy.

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