Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy and Data Protection through SurveySignal

1. Purpose

The general mission of SurveySignal is to facilitate smartphone research in the behavioral sciences and beyond. SurveySignal provides a combination of text messaging, scheduling, and study management features that make smartphone experience sampling and other mobile survey applications easy to conduct. In addition, SurveySignal facilitates contacts between smartphone users interested in research participation and researchers running studies via SurveySignal.

The purpose of SurveySignal is entirely research based. Participant information may never be used by private parties, including account holders, other than recruiting and surveying participants for research. SurveySignal is not responsible for, and disclaims all liability for damages of any kind arising out of the misuse of a SurveySignal account.

The term "researcher" as used below applies to the holder for a given SurveySignal account as well as all members of the research team with access to the account such as co-investigators, study administrators, and research assistants. It is the sole responsibility of the account holder (i.e., the individual who creates the account) to ensure that all members of the research team have read and understood our terms and conditions and are familiar with the operating principles of SurveySignal as described in the SurveySignal User Manual posted on SurveySignal's help page. Any violations by the research team associated with the account holder will be under the account holder's responsibility.

2. Waiver of Liability

Even though SurveySignal strives to ensure the highest quality service, rare events beyond SurveySignals's control (including, but not limited to, third party providers, natural disasters, cable cuts, and so forth) may occasionally happen and cause server downtimes or signal delivery failures of our SMS gateway. In case of such rare events, SurveySignal will do everything possible to restore service as soon as possible. SurveySignal will not bill for missed signals due to technical problems caused by events beyond the researcher's and SurveySignal's control. At the same time, SurveySignal will not be held responsible for any damage, permanently lost data, missed deadlines, inconvenience, loss, expense, or grief which might be caused to the account holder due to events beyond SurveySignal's control.

3. Researcher Responsibilities

By agreeing to our terms and conditions, researchers subscribe to the basic ethical principles of human subjects research as reflected in the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and the Belmont Report:

  • Respect for Persons: Individuals should be treated as autonomous agents who can make informed decisions to become or refuse to become participants in research.
  • Beneficence: Researchers are obligated to secure the well-being of human subjects, maximizing possible benefits from their participation in research and minimizing harm.
  • Justice: The burdens of being a research participant and the benefits of the research should be fairly distributed.

Specifically, the researcher's commitment to ethical research practices includes, but are not limited to, the following responsibilities: