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Re: Debian Developer Survey (short, anonymous)

On Thu, May 30, 2002 at 04:41:29PM +0200, Peter Palfrader wrote:
> On Thu, 30 May 2002, Matt McClanahan wrote:
> >                                                                The
> > survey is anonymous,
>             ^^^^^^^^^
> > 
> > The questions:
> >  * Age
> >  * Education level
> >  * Number of source packages maintained             [1]
> >  * Number of binary packages maintained             [2]
> >  * Debian user since <date>
> >  * Debian developer since <date>                    [3]

> I would guess 1, 2 and 3 together makes it _VERY_ easy to deanonymize
> that survey.

> At my school with some 800 pupils we once made a 'so called anonymous'
> survey asking amoung other things for this years grade in math and
> german tests, the zodiac sign and some random handle they want to be
> identified with.

> We then used this information together with a list of pupils, their date
> or birth, and this years grade in math and german (name blanked out
> beforehand). It was _very_ easy to find those who lied at the survey and
> published a list of handles.

> So much for anonymous surveys - It's much easier with that one since all
> the information needed to deanonymize it is publically available.

Well, you certainly don't have to provide any more detail about when you
joined than you wish to.  For that matter, you don't have to fill it out
at all if you think it would violate your privacy. :)  Personally, I'm
not concerned that anyone find out that information about me, as I
consider it all public to begin with -- I'm much more interested in the
statistical results than in knowing what Q. Random Developer's education
level is.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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