[Air-L] Ensuring privacy in online interviewing

Jenni Whitmer jmariewhitmer at gmail.com
Wed Mar 7 10:41:12 PST 2012

I'm in the midst of revising an IRB protocol for my dissertation. I will be
interviewing fashion bloggers about their experiences with blogging and
their thoughts on the relation between blogging and fashion media. The
bloggers I will be interviewing are all public figures, to one degree or
another, and I don't see the questions I'm asking as being very sensitive
in nature. I planned to interview respondents using their choice of Skype
or instant messaging service. The IRB reviewer asked me to clarify how I
plan to ensure privacy and confidentiality over Skype and IM specifically
because they are online. I'm a little unsure of what to say. I suppose I
can't guarantee privacy 100% over a public network, but is the threat
really much more notable than being overheard during a face to face or
phone interview?  I was wondering if anyone had any advice or could refer
me to any articles that address this issue. Are there any IM programs I
could use that might minimize threats to privacy?

Jennifer Whitmer, MA
Dept. of Sociology
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV 89154-5033
phone: 440-429-5957

More information about the Air-L mailing list