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Wilson Bright
Wilson Bright

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at Medium

Why BlockSurvey?

“Privacy is not something that I’m merely entitled to, it’s an absolute prerequisite.” — Marlon Brando, Actor

BlockSurvey came out as an idea during the ‘Can’t Be Evil’ hackathon conducted by Blockstack in July 2019. The theme we had in mind was to build something on Society 3.0. While evaluating multiple ideas, we used survey tools to validate our ideas with friends and family. During this time, we asked ourselves- How safe are our ideas in the survey platforms of today?

And also, how are we interacting with the surveys of today?
On reflection, our participation with surveys over the years has been very minimal and it has always been a conscious choice not to participate. This is primarily due to a lack of trust in humans while surveying. More than the intended data provided, we lose our private data which we don’t want to. Each time, we saw an employee engagement or an employee satisfaction survey run by an employer, we never answered authentically because we had a feeling of being watched or that the privacy element was unconfirmed. We interviewed multiple people and asked if they felt the same. To our surprise, they did.

How can we solve this? How to regain trust in filling out surveys? What if, we provide a system where survey takers answer from their private space to share genuine and authentic feedback/suggestions/opinions without being judged. What if, all the data collected is seen only by the survey creator alone and not by anyone else. Neither the supervisor/manager nor the platform provider, and thereby putting an end to all the leaks. This led us to create privacy-focused surveys, polls & forms platform.
We did some secondary research in this space and below are the findings in the survey industry.

In a horrendous and bizarre incident involving online surveys, around 6 million accounts were hacked from CashCrate — a site that facilitates users to take online surveys and get paid in return. This breach allowed hackers to have access to accounts that were created as early as 2006. The hacked data included — email addresses, passwords, physical addresses and names of users.

2018 — June 27, the day Spanish online survey firm — Typeform, realized that there was a security breach causing the firm to lose private survey data of tens of thousands of its customers using their platform. Hackers gained access to everything from personal details to email addresses and other private information that has put many survey participants at risk. Reddit, in particular, suffered heavy damage as personal details of its large-scale users’ surveys were exposed.

All of the above data breach incidents point out to two important things –
Data breaches have been consistent and seem unstoppable
There is a steady decrease in the confidence and trust levels of the public when it comes to surveys, polls or sharing of information online
Scary isn’t it? And quite unfair too. What with all the precious personal data thrown out in the open for anybody and everybody to access and misuse. A survey conducted by the popular Harris Poll (2017) stated that ‘’Privacy’’ is the #1 priority for Americans with a whopping 82% of preferring a technology that protects their privacy.

This begs the question — Are current survey tools safe enough?
Sadly, they aren’t.

Where BlockSurvey comes into the picture?

Upon constant research and trials, we found that there are numerous problems with the current survey tools. So, what did we do? We decided to counter these problems with our unique surveying solution. With the use of Blockchain tech from Blockstack- we came up with a methodology to conduct private, secure and anonymous surveys.

BlockSurvey also focuses on making surveys interesting and kills the fatigue factor steering participants away from ‘another boring’ survey towards an interesting survey attempt/process.

Benefits of using BlockSurvey:

  1. Share Answers, Not Identity
  2. End to End Encryption
  3. Smooth Surveying Experience
  4. Advanced Analytics
  5. Elegant Design Themes
  6. Simple To Build

We believe privacy in surveys, polls & forms is critical. Having a privacy-focused approach to surveying could lead to making better decisions thereby benefiting all the players involved in the process.

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