Optimizing opt-out consent for record linkage

J.W.M. Das, M.P. Couper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


This article reports on a study testing the effects of different ways of administering an opt-out consent for record linkage in a probability-based Internet panel. First, we conducted cognitive interviews to explore reactions to a draft version of the opt-out consent text. Second, we conducted a two-factor experiment to test the effects of content manipulations and mode. The results indicate that the way in which respondents were informed did not have much effect on opting out. Results from a follow-up survey on attitudes regarding privacy, confidentiality, and trust, along with knowledge questions about the process of linking, showed no evidence that presenting the opt-out consent statement makes respondents more concerned about privacy. Knowledge about the aspects of record linkage is generally not high. When looking at long-term effects of sending an opt-out consent statement, we found no evidence that this leads to higher attrition or lower participation rates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
JournalJournal of Official Statistics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


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