2021 Open Source Diversity and Inclusion Survey

Survey Responses Use and Access Policy


This document describes the Linux Foundation’s policy for use of, and providing access to, the responses gathered from the 2021 Open Source Diversity and Inclusion Survey (the “Survey”). (The Linux Foundation’s general Privacy Policy is available at https://www.linuxfoundation.org/privacy/.)

The Linux Foundation is performing the Survey with the goals of better understanding the diversity of the broader open source community, perceptions on inclusion in the community, and gaps in inclusion where there are opportunities for improvement. With this in mind, and given the Linux Foundation’s core role as a supporter of open source communities, one goal for the Survey is to make the responses and Survey results broadly available to the extent feasible.

At the same time, a core consideration in running the survey is to protect the privacy of all respondents. In light of the potential sensitivity of the Survey questions that relate to demographics, inclusion, and behaviors experienced in communities, the anonymity of respondents is critical—both to ensure that participants are comfortable in responding, and to align with responsibilities that can attach to sensitive data if it is related to an identifiable person.

In order to balance these goals, the Linux Foundation is implementing the following policy regarding how the Survey responses will be used and made available to others.

Survey Responses Policy

Overall objective: The Linux Foundation intends that the responses from participants in the Survey (the “Responses”) should be and remain anonymous. The Responses should not contain information that would identify an individual respondent, and should not be used in ways that could reasonably identify an individual respondent.

Collecting Responses:

  • The Survey instructions will inform respondents that they should not provide any responses that would be reasonably likely to identify themselves or any other individual.
  • The Survey will be run, and Responses will be collected, using SurveyMonkey in a manner in which the Responses are not linked to any other information that would identify the respondent.

Linux Foundation Use of Responses:

  • The Linux Foundation will not store or process the Responses in a way that would link them with other sources of data, or in any other way attempt to re-identify individual respondents.
  • Analyses published by the Linux Foundation that take into account potentially-sensitive portions of the Responses will be published only in aggregate form, in a manner which does not identify individual respondents.

Sharing of Non-Sensitive Portions of Responses:

  • Where feasible, the Linux Foundation will endeavor to make publicly available the raw data sets for non-sensitive portions of the Responses.
  • The determination of which portions of the Responses can be publicly shared in raw data sets will take into account whether particular fields in the Responses could be reasonably possible to enable re-identification, whether due to (1) potential for linking with other fields or with other publicly-available information; or (2) the nature of free-text responses to fill-in-the-blank questions.
  • The Linux Foundation may seek the input from its survey partners (including participants in the CHAOSS community project) to determine which fields may be included here.

Sharing of Full Raw Data Sets Comprising the Responses:

  • Because of the considerations described above, the Linux Foundation does not anticipate making publicly available the entirety of the Responses in raw data set form (the “Raw Response Data”).
  • On a case-by-case basis, researchers who desire to analyze the Raw Response Data may submit a request to the Linux Foundation for access.
  • The Linux Foundation will implement a process to gather information from the requesters to evaluate the nature of their research project, including the goals of the research and the expected uses of the Raw Response Data in connection therewith.
  • The requesters will also be required to commit not to (1) republish the Raw Response Data or (2) attempt to use the Raw Response Data to re-identify any individual respondents.
  • The Linux Foundation may approve or reject any such request in its discretion, and may seek the input from its survey partners (including participants in the CHAOSS community project) to evaluate the requests.

This policy may be amended from time to time. Comments and feedback on this policy should be sent to legal@linuxfoundation.org.