1. Help Center
  2. Onboarding
  3. Interesting before the start

How is the anonymity at Honestly ensured?

Filter function to secure employee anonymity in the system

1. Background

Maintaining the anonymity of participating employees is essential to enable open feedback.

The processing of personal data for the group-based distribution and evaluation of surveys (e.g. by department) takes place in such a way that the data can no longer be assigned to a specific person without the addition of further information. This additional information is kept separately and is subject to appropriate technical and organizational measures.  However, in the overall evaluation, which is visible to the customer, it is no longer possible to trace which employee gave which answer.

Detailed information on how Honestly guarantees data security and anonymity of all results are also defined in the Data Processing Agreement (DPA), which is concluded between Honestly and the customer at the beginning of the cooperation.
Based on this, limitations in the filtering method and function preserve anonymity even when combining many and detailed filters within the application.

The anonymity limit is ensured by the functionality of the evaluation software, especially by the filters, and is not done manually. The anonymity limit for the evaluation is five answers per question and can only be viewed from this value on.

2. Filter

Groups containing less than five feedbacks are merged into a common group "others". This group then bundles all feedbacks from groups that have less than five feedbacks as well as feedbacks with empty group values.

However, to increase anonymity, the group "others" must also reach the anonymity threshold of five. If it does not yet do so, the smallest group that is still displayed is included in the "others" group. 

The aggregation is dynamic. This means: If a filter is set, the other available filters adapt themselves so that anonymity is always maintained.

Example A:

Feedbacks with these group values have been entered in "Department" (number of feedbacks in brackets):

  • IT (18)
  • Finance (12)
  • HR (87)
  • Customer Serv (12)
  • Corporate (4)
  • Supplies (1)
  • <not set> (3)

The following filters are then displayed: 

    • HR
    • IT
    • Finance
    • Customer Serv
  • others

"Others" contains here the values of Corporate, Supplies, as well as the feedbacks which have no group value. All in all the others group corresponds to eight feedbacks and does not endanger anonymity. 

Example B:

Feedbacks with these group values have been entered in "Department" (number of feedbacks in brackets):

  • IT (18)
  • Finance (12)
  • HR (87)
  • Customer Serv (12)
  • Corporate (3)
  • Supplies (1)

 

The following filters are then displayed: 

  • HR
  • IT
  • Customer Serv
  • others

In this example, the groups that have less than five feedbacks together have not reached the limit of five. To maintain anonymity, the smallest group is added to the "others" group. Since the groups Finance and Customer Serv are of equal size, the alphabetically later group is included (Finance).

"Others" here includes the values of Corporate, Supplies, and Finance. In total, the others group corresponds to 16 feedbacks and therefore does not endanger anonymity. 

Example C:

Feedbacks with these group values have been entered in "Department" (number of feedbacks in brackets):

  • Male (12)
  • Female (8)

The following filters are then displayed: 

  • Male
  • Female

All groups fulfil the criteria of anonymity. The group "others" is not created, because there are no small groups. 

Example D:

Feedbacks with these group values have been entered in "Department" (number of feedbacks in brackets):

  • Male (16)
  • Female (3)

The following filters are then displayed: 

  • others

"Female" is assigned to "others" here due to the small group size. This group now has to less feedback with only 3 feedbacks. The next larger group is added to the group. This has the consequence that no more groups are available. "All" corresponds to "others".