Talk:Research Committee/Meetings/Meeting 2011-12-22

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Hi, I have some comments on notes from the meeting.

"DT: sees the concern, but cannot imagine a survey that wouldn't collect some of this data (e.g. IP address). By definition a survey will collect information that they cannot make public."

Collecting and storing are two different things.

Not all users are technically savvy. Some may not know what an IP address is or that their clicking on an ad could allow them to be geolocated and reveal their ISP.

Also, I disagree that "By definition a survey will collect information that they cannot make public." I did a survey, not on Wikipedia, in which every bit of information was available for anyone who wanted to inspect it to do so.

Informed consent and opt-in are much more ethical and less controversial than presumed consent and opt-out. There are ways to solicit users to opt-in and provide adequate information to possible study subjects about the nature of the study and the data that will be collected and stored, and who will have access to what stored data.

Pinetalk 06:49, 3 January 2012 (UTC)[]

Pine, I think you are underestimating the raw amount of information logged by a webserver. In this survey you performed, did you report the time of day that each participant took the survey or how long each participants spent completing the survey? Your server logs most definitely contained this information. Web servers will log this information regardless and a reasonable decision must be made by a human about what information will be made public and this must be made clear to any potential participants. About this, there was no disagreement.
No one was suggesting that requirements for informed consent or opt-in to a study should be dropped. Indeed, this would be ludicrous. You might have misread. Instead, we were discussing mechanisms for soliciting participation. In this matter, informed consent is irrelevant (since no consent is required) and opt-out was agreed to be the more reasonable mechanism for practical reasons. --EpochFail 14:22, 3 January 2012 (UTC)[]
In my case, I did not use any internet means of communication to collect the surveys, so webserver information didn't exist. I am glad to hear that there was agreement that clarity about information release is necessary, although I think it might be better to state explicitly during the consent process if information like IPs or WM usernames are associated with survey responses in a way that will be visible to the researchers even if the IPs and usernames aren't made public.
After reading your comment and re-reading the meeting notes, I see what you mean about the difference in the discussion between soliciting participation and the process of obtaining informed consent. Thanks. Pinetalk 09:04, 5 January 2012 (UTC)[]