Personal data

Did you know online surveys, even ones that say your responses are anonymous, collect your computer’s Internet Protocol (IP) address by default? Your computer’s IP address is its individual identity on the Internet and can be used along with other information to locate where you are and to identify who you are

We believe people should be secure in the knowledge that any identifying data isn’t being harvested without their permission when taking surveys. To do this, we have chosen to disable IP collection in the Big Advice Survey. This means that when taking the Big Advice Survey your computer or device’s IP address is secure and will not be collected or stored by us as part of your response


SSL encryption is turned on for the Big Advice Survey. SSL encrypts whatever you enter into the survey and further protects your privacy as data is sent between your computer and SurveyMonkey

Survey links and email invitations

Ever been invited to complete a survey by email? Online survey tools allow survey creators to create dedicated emails that tell them whenever you click on the survey link in the email and allow them to match up your responses to your email address and name. Bear in mind too that your contact details will have already been given by whoever is conducting the survey to Survey Monkey or whichever other tool is being used to allow these email invites. We do not use email collectors to gather survey respondents – there is only one link, or path to the Big Advice Survey: (or its shortened (better for tweeting) version

We want your opinions, not your personal data

We are only interested in what you think about the questions we ask in the Big Advice Survey. We will not ask you for any personal identifying information at all during the survey so it is highly improbable that we or anyone else could ever identify you from your response. Additionally, you can also choose to skip any question you are uncomfortable with if you think your response could set you apart more easily from the responses of other people around the country. As a further privacy safeguard, and before sharing any part of the survey data with anyone, we will also undertake checks after the survey has closed and remove any written text response that might allow someone to be identified eg where someone has included a telephone number, name or other information that might be used to identify someone

We believe all surveys should show some respect for those who are being asked to complete them by addressing respondent privacy and confidentiality in a transparent and informative manner so potential respondents are able to make informed decisions. We would suggest that if you are being asked take a survey that does not include clear information on what of your data will be collected along with your response, you decline to take part

An abbreviated version of this statement is included on the first page of the Big Advice Survey itself

Read the FAQ