We came across this interesting article about quiz maker data privacy in the Wall Street Journal – exposing how some online quiz providers are harvesting user responses for their own purposes.
Needless to say, we were very surprised.
(Update – March 29, 2018: This hasn’t stopped. In his recent Medium post “Are online quizzes still safe to take?”, our CEO recently found that high profile quiz makers are still doing this – collecting sensitive user data from their clients’ websites, presumably without their clients’ consent.
It’s one thing to focus on making really cool interactive content tools – viral quizzes, personality tests, and the like. That’s our missions at Riddle – and we’re fiercely proud of it. After all, people love learning about themselves (and sharing the responses with their friends).
And it’s okay to use quizzes to help collect email address and qualify leads through their quiz responses – so you can automatically send personalized follow up marketing messages targeted to their interests and needs.
The kicker? You need to be transparent – so each quiz taker knows what information is being collected and why.
Quiz maker data privacy and the GDPR
The EU’s GDPR is now in effect – with the prospect of big fines if you don’t comply with their strict data privacy regulations. (Want to learn more? Riddle is fully GDPR-compliant. You can also read our GDPR guide for small businesses – full of tips and best practices.
(And no – sneakily hiding this information deep in a site’s terms and conditions that takes a legal genius to read doesn’t count.)
We were going to let this slide by without comment – but the more we thought about, the angrier we became.
Sure – marketing can be one of those words that makes us all instantly defensive if we think there is something underhanded going on. However we all use (and benefit) from marketing when we’re presented with the right product at the right time for the right price.
So the right kind of marketing can be incredibly useful. We have often willingly given my details to many companies to get more information, from asking for details about an upcoming trip to Burma to downloading white papers from software vendors we use here at Riddle.
But it’s quite another for some companies to cynically build this sort of content – purely to collect and sell user information that helps companies market to their users without their knowledge.
The key to quiz maker data privacy is transparency – and putting the user in control.
At Riddle, we believe that interactive content tools can be a powerful tool in any company’s marketing kit. Using fun, compelling and educational quizzes or other types of Riddles are brilliant at getting people to be active participants on your site. Plus, they often have such a good time that they can’t wait to share with their social circles.
And we let any business or website capture this enthusiasm – by using our quiz lead generation technology to add a lead generation form to any quiz to ask the audience to give their name, email and other information.
Quiz maker data privacy – transparency is key
The difference is that our users are always in control. Whether it’s signing up for a blog’s newsletter, submitting their test answers to enter a contest, or asking for a follow up conversation about a product, Riddle users know (and are comfortable) with sharing their details.
Riddle will NEVER resort to any type of hidden data collection and selling. Promise.
We do provide each quiz creator anonymous overall data of how people responded but we will never allow to link answers to user names or emails unless we get explicit permission from the user to do so.
(Now if only more companies would join Buzzfeed, Zimbio, and Riddle – the internet would be a much less slimy place.)
Have any questions about quiz maker data privacy? We’re huge fans of transparency – so just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org/blog. Everyone from our CEO down reads and responds to all messages – often in under five minutes flat.