Is a totally anonymous survey possible?

5 years 3 weeks ago #75924 by malberghini
The boss asked if a truly completely anonymous survey was possible. He means a survey even I, who have root on the server, can not trace back to a specific response.

There are several places I saw the possibility to figure it out:

1. Apache logs the time and IP of access to the limesurvey URL, and include the token as a GET variable
2. MySQL logs the time of an update to the limesurvey database table
3. The mail server logs the time an invite was sent, and the time of a confirmation email being sent.

So if we want to do this, we would have to have a server with logging of http, mysql and mail shut off. Is there anything else I'm missing, or am I really over-thinking this?


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5 years 3 weeks ago #75927 by holch
Is the survey within your network only or outside (on the web)?

I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member. I answer at the LimeSurvey forum in my spare time. No support via private message.
Some helpful links: Manual (EN) | Question Types | Workarounds

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5 years 3 weeks ago #75931 by DenisChenu
Another option is to didtribute the token code by paper, and not by email.

Then you can have token with answer but don't know who have this token code ;).

Even with no-log, you can "yourself" track the token table update ... and see what token is closed when a survey is send.


Assistance on LimeSurvey forum and LimeSurvey core development are on my free time.
I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member, professional service on demand (or search sondages pro).

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5 years 2 weeks ago #76018 by Steve01

I think it might be very difficult to have a totally anonymous survey. If you use tokens you might run into the problem Shnoulle described (i.e. you refresh the token table and see which token is used for the response). So depending on the location/access of your server and what you want to archieve with the survey it might be an idea to have an open survey without participants/tokes. In the "Notification & data management" tab in the survey settings there are some settings for the answer table. So if you want to have an anonymous survey it might be a good idea to set "Save IP address?" to no, otherwise the IP will be saved into the results table.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen/Best regards,

Stefan Gohlke
LimeSurvey Team

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