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Participants' personal data

Personal data you may receive

When running studies, you may receive participants' personal data in several ways:

  • When a participant signs up for a study, you will be able to access certain basic demographic information from Prolific relating to that participant, including responses to screening questions and information about the participant's submission history on Prolific. Even though this information may be incapable of directly identifying the participant, it's still treated as personal data under the data protection laws applicable to us here in the UK (and under laws applicable to European participants who use Prolific).
  • When a participant completes the study in your external study software, you will receive study responses from that participant.
  • If you wish to contact participants, this must be done through Prolific's messaging system. You may only contact participants regarding matters directly relating to a study. You should never contact participants for marketing purposes

Handling personal data

  • The limited personal data available from Prolific will be pseudonymised (i.e. associated only with a Prolific ID rather than with a direct identifier such as a name or address). Here’s more information about the difference between anonymised and pseudonymised data.
  • You may not attempt to re-identify any participant through the pseudonymised data provided by Prolific or any other data available to you (and note this may be a criminal offence in certain areas).
  • You must not in the context of any study or otherwise request any direct identifiers from participants (more on this here: Can I ask participants for their personal information / identifiers?).
  • You will be a data controller in your own right in relation to that personal data, and in relation to any personal data which you collect yourself in conducting a study. It is your responsibility to make sure that your collection and use of that personal data complies with applicable law.

Privacy notices

You have to comply with applicable data protection law when you receive personal data from us, and when you receive personal data directly from participants when conducting your studies. In particular, that means you must ensure that in any study listing your identity is clear and the participant is provided with or directed to a privacy notice meeting the requirements of applicable law in your territory, telling them what data you might receive, what you will do with it, where it goes, and how long you keep it.

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