The survey data
compliance report

Data privacy has gone mainstream,
but survey privacy is keeping up

Data privacy is a prominent fixture of news coverage today:

  • Data breaches that affect millions
  • Social Media ad overreach worries
  • Concerns with smart devices at home and on our bodies
  • How marketers acquire and use personal data
  • Employee firings for personal social media posts
  • Foreign governments that use personal data to profile citizens

A person’s right to control their own data is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and governments have reacted with new regulations that give consumers increasing power over their sensitive personal data.

Survey data is considered sensitive personal data because surveys harvest data about opinions, behaviors and lifestyles. The companies that collect this type of data are increasingly held to a high standard with how they host and use it, so many are incorporating survey data security standards into their Data Loss Prevention (DLP) efforts.

Organizations aren’t keeping up with survey data compliance

According to a recent Qualtrics study of over 500 data privacy professionals, organizations aren’t keeping up with public concerns and laws governing sensitive survey data. When it comes to sensitive survey data, often the best option is to avoid collecting it in the first place.

The survey data compliance report

Qualtrics asked 510 data privacy professionals to describe what their organizations do to avoid collecting sensitive personal data in their surveys, and what challenges they have keeping their survey data in compliance with evolving laws.

Sensitive Data

of organizations that use multiple survey tools don’t know how many survey accounts have been set up by employees


of organizations that use multiple survey tools aren’t able to stop any survey from going out if it violates privacy policies

That is nearly 3x higher than organizations that use just one survey tool

Organizations most at-risk for survey data non-compliance and fines:

  • Use 3+ different survey platforms
  • Have accidentally collected prohibited data in surveys
  • Have over 500 employees
  • Have faced regulation penalties in the past
  • Are unaware of how many different surveys have been created by employees

The most common types of sensitive data accidentally collected in surveys:

  • Social Security number
  • Full Name
  • Credit Card number
  • Personal health information
  • Driver’s license number
  • Date of birth
  • Email address
  • Customer account number
  • Medical records
  • Personal income


of organizations that use multiple survey tools don’t know how many surveys they send out

That is nearly 2x more than organizations that use just one tool.

Top types of data organizations try to avoid collecting in surveys

Data to avoid
Survey Accounts Unneeded Data