- By Julia Steege-Reimann -
At Polco, privacy matters to us. A lot. In fact, it’s core to our mission of letting every voice count.
“At Polco, we take seriously our commitment to data privacy. We want respondents to know that their opinions and any information they share is secure on Polco and will be kept private,” said Laurie Urban, Director of Client Success at Polco.
We never share personally-identifiable information or individual survey responses with customers or third parties. Rather, we report all our survey and poll data in group form only.
This commitment to privacy also applies to our clients. Our benchmarks allow cities to compare results with each other across the nation as a whole, without distributing individual reports.
So, why will Polco never share your individual data?
1. Honest Feedback
In short, we want our respondents to know that they can provide honest feedback without fear of being identified. This will help communities to know what their residents are really thinking.
“We place a high emphasis on privacy protections so that respondents feel empowered to be open and honest with their local governments and organizations using Polco,” said Nick Jeffress, Head of Growth at Polco.
2. Better Quality Data
When we protect respondents’ privacy, it leads to more trustworthy data for our clients. This helps community leaders to have faith that the data will guide them in the right direction.
“Data privacy is essential in quality survey research, particularly web-based research,” said Urban. “Gathering honest and candid feedback from respondents is imperative to having reliable and actionable data – data that can be trusted.”
3. Great Ideas and Increased Engagement
We are trying to provide a safe space that supports civil civic participation. When people feel supported to be honest yet civil, they are more likely to offer great ideas for improving our communities. They are also more likely to participate more frequently.
“When you give residents a safe space to voice their feedback, free from personal attacks, vulgar language and misleading or outright untrue arguments, they become more likely to engage with regularity. They are also more likely to provide insightful information to help make decisions in their community,” said Jeffress.
4. Privacy Supports Polco’s Mission
Our mission is to let every voice count. For too long, local governments have only heard from a few: the loud, the opinionated, and those who have time to attend weeknight meetings.
We want to help everyone participate. And, we want leaders to understand those community-level trends. Sharing individual data would be counter to that goal.
“We want to create diverse data that represents entire communities, including the busy, hard to reach, and those fearful of expressing their opinions in public,” said Jeffress. “Gathering this data and putting it in the hands of decision makers is of the utmost importance to our mission.”