The Importance of Data Privacy in Survey Technology

Data privacy is the protection of data that people should not have access to and the ability of individuals to decide who can access their personal information. This information can be the person’s name, phone number, date of birth, geographic location, or online behavior. Data privacy is a fundamental human right. In recent history, people have used the internet so often and widely that the necessity for data privacy has increased immensely. This blog will help you learn all about data privacy and how crucial it is for businesses to protect their data, now more than ever.

Why Is Data Privacy Important?

According to everyone in tech, but also specifically Forbes, “data privacy is a must.” When it comes to data protection, organizations should go above and beyond to find ways to protect their confidential data and intellectual property. Individuals need to have faith that their data will be secure and protected with care. Over time, businesses have learned that protecting data can be a major advantage for customers, especially when it comes to standing out from competitors. According to Mckinsey & Co., “the data businesses generate create both an opportunity for enterprises to improve their consumer engagement and a responsibility to keep consumer data safe.” Personal data can be misused and mishandled in so many ways especially when it’s hacked and accessed by unauthorized parties. Nowadays, criminals find tactics to use personal data to harass people and commit fraud. They also sell personal data to unwanted sources without consent, resulting in people being scammed through phishing, hacking, and identity theft strategies. For businesses, a breach like this can be a major setback for their reputation.

Technologies Used for Data Privacy

There are three main technologies used for data privacy – encryption, access control, and two-factor authentication.


Encryption is a method used to encode data using a password or a PIN. According to Investopedia, “Encryption is an important way for individuals and companies to protect sensitive information from hacking.” Encryption makes data encoded and hidden to people and systems that don’t have the correct key so that outside parties can’t misuse it because they can’t understand it. The only person who has access to the data is someone with the encryption key i.e., the password or PIN. This way, the data is stored in such a way that those without the encryption method can’t understand it, adding another layer of security even if a system is breached and accessed from an outside party.

Access Control

In terms of data privacy, access control allows only authorized parties to access data. This helps prevention of sensitive data from leaving your official network. This can look like security and permission settings on which people can access what databases, to cut down on the vulnerabilities of the data through people accessing and sharing it. It can also include secure offboarding processes, to make sure that any data an exiting employee handled is secured and kept for the company, and not taken with them to outside organizations.

Two-Factor Authentication

Two-Factor Authentication makes it harder for unwanted hackers to steal and misuse your data. Nowadays, tech and social media companies are encouraging users to use two-factor authentication to prevent criminal activity on their accounts. By using two factors connected to a person’s identity or physical access to a token or phone, there’s an extra layer of protection on accounts and logins using this extra means of authenticating identity. The key aspects of two or multi-factor authentication includes the following:

  • something that a user has: a security token, a key, a code sent to their phone, or another physical object that they would have access to
  • something a user knows: password, PIN, answers to specific security questions about the user and their identity
  • something that a user is: physical characteristics such as fingerprint, eye or face scan, and voice

How Do Surveys Protect the Privacy of Your Data?

Survey platforms make it a point to ensure that it is their responsibility to protect the respondent’s data. As a survey creator, it is important to keep in mind that respondents have faith in you to keep their data private and protected. To protect user data, survey platforms use a Continuous SSL encryption (HTTPS) tool. This tool protects the data when respondents fill in the questionnaire and when the survey platform retrieves the collected data. As much as survey platforms hold responsibility for protecting respondent data, the latter also holds the same. Respondents can also ensure the protection of their data by doing the following:

  • Say no to the sale of their personal information
  • Not posting their personal information on social media channels
  • Ensure a choice is available when asked for certain information such as email address, phone number…etc

At the same time, survey platforms can also follow certain protocols to protect respondent privacy. This can include:

  • Posting and adhering to a privacy policy
  • Communication with customers
  • Creating a “Not Applicable” option for sensitive questions
  • Providing a forum for complaints and concerns

Challenges Businesses Face When Protecting User Privacy

There are many laws and regulations surrounding data privacy, especially more in the 21st century. Most notably, the two recent and industry-accepted laws when it comes to data privacy are the GDPR and the CCPA. According to the Digital Guardian, “the general data protection regulation or the GDPR regulates how companies protect citizens’ personal data.” This law was agreed upon in 2016 and came into effect two years later in 2018. On the other hand, according to the California State Department of Justice, “the California Consumer Privacy Act secures privacy rights for consumers.” This includes the following:

  • The right to know about the personal information a business collects about them and how it is used and shared
  • The right to delete personal information collected from them (with some exceptions)
  • The right to opt-out of the sale of their personal information
  • The right to non-discrimination for exercising their CCPA rights.

Although survey platforms do their best to protect respondent data, they still face issues from time to time. By adhering to regulations such as GDPR and CCPA for all audiences, they stand a better chance of keeping data secure and under wraps from possible breaches.

Preserving Respondent Data Privacy with PxidaX

PxidaX makes it a point to put its respondents first. Their data, being collected and stored through our feedback technology, must stay secure to ensure trust in our technology. This way, businesses know they can trust us with their valuable customer and employee data. Sign up for a free trial today to see how our technology can help your business safely and securely gather data and take action on the insights gleaned from it!