Our partner on the annual PledgeLA Survey is Pluto, an online platform that equips companies with the analytics and communication tools they need to build a diverse, inclusive and equitable organization. Following is a summary of frequently asked questions related to anonymity and privacy for survey responses.
FAQs on Anonymity & Privacy of Story Responses
Privacy and security are among Pluto’s core values. A common concern of any survey respondent is whether they and their responses will be identifiable in the results. Pluto takes great care to address these concerns and to provide a space where respondents can feel secure coming forward, knowing their identities will be protected. Below are a few scenarios to illustrate how this works.
Does this survey “out” me?
No. Pluto’s analytics requires a critical mass of respondents with a certain identity to show that identity as a distinct category. For example, say that you are the only bisexual individual at your company. In the example chart to the left, categories with many respondents (straight and gay) are visible, but the category bisexual remains masked and combined with other minority responses (in this case, perhaps lesbian and queer) to make sure you are not singled out.
Does the survey make others like me a target?
Never. Masking protections increase as more intersectional identities complete stories. Say you are one of only two Latinx women in your organization, for example. If we look at an example chart of Pluto analytics, we see that there is not enough critical mass for Latina women to be revealed in the analytics.
Is My Identity Tied to My Responses?
These same masking protections apply to any answers you provide as well. Not only do the analytics require a critical mass of a demographic slice to reveal such demographic slice in the data at all, but the analytics also require such critical mass for any given response. So for example, say you are Asian, and you respond that your company’s diversity efforts are “ineffective.” There may be enough Asians who responded “effective” for this group of Asians to be shown in the analytics (see the “Effective” column in the left chart). However, if there is not enough of a critical mass of Asians responding “ineffective,” this group will again be masked with other race/ethnicity groups (see the “Ineffective” column). Any freeform comments you submit are also separated from your identity or your other responses.