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Abstract Details

Activity Number: 413
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 : 2:00 PM to 3:50 PM
Sponsor: Section on Survey Research Methods
Abstract - #304302
Title: Using Cognitive Interviewing to Detect Privacy and Confidentiality Concerns
Author(s): Jennifer Childs*+ and Michelle Smirnova
Companies: U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Census Bureau
Address: 4600 Silver Hill Rd, Washington, DC, 20233, United States
Keywords: privacy ; confidentiality ; cognitive interviews ; Census

This paper explores how cognitive interviews can be used to gain insight on privacy and confidentiality concerns in factual surveys. In order to explore the benefits and limitations of this methodology in identifying such concerns, we present a case study that sought to understand living situations of respondents who listed in multiple places during the Census. Based upon respondents' reaction to questions in this survey, we tried to determine whether certain questions were perceived as too private and/or respondents had concerns that the confidentiality of their data had been breached. This paper examines how privacy and confidentiality concerns were discussed and identified through the cognitive interview. We examine situations, in which these types of concerns were uncovered, what types of probing were useful in uncovering them and situations where they remained uncovered within the interview itself. Recommendations are discussed pertaining to how to best study privacy and confidentiality concerns in cognitive interviews and the limitations of the methodology for this purpose.

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