The confidentiality of survey data is expected by both survey researchers and survey participants. Survey researchers have multiple meanings for confidentiality that are not quite the same as the common definition. Dictionary definitions use terms such as private, intimate, and trusted, and some refer to national security concerns.

However, in survey research, the definition is more complex and can be used differently by different researchers and survey organizations. For the most part, confidentiality in survey research refers to the methods for protecting the data that are collected. It refers both to the promises made to survey participants that they will not be identified in any way to those outside the organization without their specific permission and to the techniques that organizations use to ensure that publicly ...

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