SurveyMonkey’s Updated Privacy Policy

SurveyMonkey is all about helping you collect data so that you can make better decisions. You trust us to store your data, and with lots of data comes lots of responsibility. Part of building that trust is being transparent about what we do with your data (and what we won’t do with it), and what control you have over it.

Companies try to do this through privacy policies. We all know the problem with most privacy policies–-they are long, dense, impenetrable, and cause people’s eyes to glaze over. Almost no one reads them from top to bottom, and they turn out to be not much help to anyone.

Well, we’ve improved our privacy policy to make it even easier to understand.

We realize that people actually do read privacy policies, but they are interested in very specific things and go looking for specific answers. Why should they have to plow through the whole document to find them? Privacy policies aren’t meant to be long-winded legal treatises (Treaty of Versailles, anyone? 426 pages), they are meant to be help documents. So, they should help you understand what happens to your data when you place it in our hands.

With this in mind, we’ve gathered feedback from customers and guidance from privacy experts and regulators around the world to come up with a newly structured and rewritten Privacy Policy.

It’s not your average policy. We wrote it with these values in mind:

  • It should be easy to understand. There’s absolutely no good reason why a privacy policy should be written in legalese, so we have written everything in plain, clear language.
  • It should be useful and accessible. A privacy policy is only useful if it helps people quickly locate the topics that are most important to them. Our goal is to help you locate your answer within 60 seconds. Four ways we have done this are:
    • We listed answers to our customers’ most common concerns at the top. Most people will not need to even look at the full policy to get their answers.
    • We split the policy into two: for creators and respondents. SurveyMonkey serves two different types of people–-survey creators and survey respondents. These people have two different sets of privacy interests, so it made sense to split the policy into versions which were relevant to each.
    • We will be structuring the policy as an expandable tree. This functionality is not quite ready yet, but soon when you view the policy, most of the detail will be initially collapsed. This will allow you to quickly figure out the structure of the document, identify what interests you without the distraction of all the things that are less important to you, and then drill down into the details you need.
    • We highlighted major points. Some things in the policy are more interesting or noteworthy than others. We’ve visually highlighted these so you can more easily identify them.

 
And, we have tried to keep changes to the content minimal. Here’s a list of some of the more substantial updates we made:

  • We broadened the focus to describe how we handle all types of information we collect, not just personally identifiable information. Survey data often doesn’t contain personal information, but that doesn’t make it less important to you.
  • We provided more details about how we use and share your information. We classified uses into categories which we hope are more intuitive and clearer to you. We also identified what we don’t do with your information. For example, we’re very clear that we do not do anything like sell your respondents’ email addresses behind your back. We’re not that kind of company.
  • We have addressed differences that may be important to customers in different geographic regions. Because privacy values and laws differ in each country around the world, customers in some countries have particular privacy concerns and we wanted to clearly address those needs.
  • We may now disclose account holder details to the billing contact for an account (we regularly get queries from credit card holders who are trying to figure out who used their card to buy a SurveyMonkey subscription).
  • We added privacy information about blogs and forums.
  • We added more details about how we use cookies.

 
We hope that you’ll find the changes to our privacy policy helpful. Combined with other our privacy features such as privacy controls, educational Help Center FAQs, and blog posts, we continue to improve our privacy practices so you can get comfortable with what’s happening with your data and focus on what really matters: conducting great surveys.

As always, your feedback is welcome!

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Inspired? Create your own survey.

Inspired? Create your own survey.

  • Sicco Jan

    I have three questions in mind when I look at a privacy policy:
    1) Money: do I have to pay and is the contract time-limited?
    2) Safety: is the information given save? Who benefits from my information (i.e. is it passed on)?
    3) Access/Service: what access do I grant to the supplier (i.e. I know some apps have an unclear policy and you have to read them 5 times over and still miss out on the fact that the app that lets you do something also opens all your documents for content browsing)?

  • mohd abbas naqvi

    I have three questions in mind when I look at a privacy policy:
    1) Money: do I have to pay and is the contract time-limited?
    2) Safety: is the information given save? Who benefits from my information (i.e. is it passed on)?
    3) Access/Service: what access do I grant to the supplier (i.e. I know some apps have an unclear policy and you have to read them 5 times over and still miss out on the fact that the app that lets you do something also opens all your documents for content browsing)?

    A

  • http://www.Vemuritrust.org Prof. Vemuri Lakshminarayana

    Doing Research on “HR Practices in Successful Software companies in Tamil Nadu.” Intended to know best HR practices that lead to the company success and to find the better among the best policies that can be applied universally in India.
    We want the questionnaire and also the survey to be done. The results are to be analysed for converting them in to a research report. Ur Urgent attention and action is highly appreciated.
    Dr. Vemuri Lakshminarayana

    • http://www.surveymonkey.com Anne R

      Hi Dr. Lakshminarayana–we would love to help you. Please email us at support@surveymonkey.com to let us know specifically what we can assist with for your HR best practices survey.

  • Angela

    I am not impressed with the new survey monkey changes regarding removal of easy to send test messages and including those annoying recaptcha components prior to survey launch which I can never decipher. This adds an extreme level of irritation to my busy workload and its enough to push me into purchasing an account at another provider.

    • MychalH

      Angela – We understand and agree that this is an extra step. However, the reason for these changes is for your, and all of our customers’, best interest. These safeguards will are used (We have many other safeguards as wel) to eliminate potential spammers for using our tool to do harm and tarnish our good name. These changes help ensue your messages have the best delivery rate possible. Thank you for your feedback; we appreciate hearing about the good and the ugly that comes with change.