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Personal information in studies

Personal information policy at Prolific

We take privacy and the maintenance of participant anonymity seriously at Prolific.

We require that our researchers do not attempt to identify participants. This means that researchers should not ask you for any personal data which would make you directly identifiable. 

Remember that you may give some personal information to Prolific when completing your profile (see Telling us 'About You' for more information). This article refers to personal information in studies run by researchers on Prolific, rather than your account or 'About You' pages.

Below is a list of personal data that, as a rule, researchers may not collect through Prolific. Please note that this list is not exhaustive - as a general rule, researchers cannot ask participants for any information that could risk de-anonymising them.

List of information researchers can't collect

 First and / or last name


 Date of birth

 Phone number


 9 digit ZIP code or full UK postcode

 However, researchers can ask for a 5 digit ZIP code or the first letters of a UK postcode.

 Social media usernames, or links to social media accounts or posts (e.g. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok etc.)

 Gaming usernames (e.g. PlayStation Network ID, Xbox gamertag, Steam ID etc.)

 Email Address

 However, researchers can ask for your Prolific email address which will look like ''.

Researchers should not attempt to re-identify any participant through the data provided by Prolific or any other data available to them (this may even be a criminal offence in certain areas).

If a researcher needs to contact you, we have a Prolific messaging and email system in place to ensure anonymity is protected. You can read more about our messaging system in this article: How can I contact a researcher?

If you're taking a study and notice the researcher is asking for personal information as listed above, please return the study and let us know as soon as you can using the button below.

Need further help?

 Click here to contact us

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