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.
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.
It’s not your average policy. We wrote it with these values in mind:
- 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.
As always, your feedback is welcome!