Frequently Asked Questions
Ethica provides a free version which can be used to try out Ethica and the features it provides. The free version provides all the features that are available in the Paid version, and it never expires.
You do need to upgrade to the Paid version if you intend to use Ethica for a pilot or main study. Our pricing depends on three factors:
1. The type of data you plan to collect. You can read about the available data sources here. 2. The length of the study, i.e. how long you plan to collect data from each participant. 3. The maximum number of participants you expect to enrol.
Ethica app automatically uploads the collected data when there is an Internet connection available. By default Ethica uses any Internet connection (mobile or Wi-Fi), but you can change this for your study and set it to use Wi-Fi only. Participants can also change this setting anytime on their phone via the "Upload via Wi-Fi only" option.
The data appears on the website as soon as they are uploaded from the phone.
Yes. Ethica provides participants with a few different ways to stop the data collection any time they want, either permanently or temporarily.
If you want participants to be able to permanently disable a data source, but still be part of the study, you can set that data source to optional. This instructs the Ethica app to give participants this option to opt out from this data source if they choose to.
Participants can also temporarily disable data collection at any time by going to the app and pressing "Pause Participation". This will stop all automatic data collection for one hour. The data collection will resume automatically after one hour. Note that participants will continue to receive surveys during this time, if there are any surveys scheduled.
As a data processor, Ethica does comply with GDPR regulations and currently multiple European institutions have Data Controller/Data Processor agreements with Ethica in place.
1. GDPR does apply to Ethica, as a data processor.
2. Participant unambiguous consent
This consent form will be presented to participants prior to joining a study, and they have to agree to this before being able to participate. The consent form is available to the participant throughout the study participation.
3. Further processing outside of what mentioned in the consent form
Ethica does not perform any processing on the data collected for a given study.
4. Participants right to access their data
Ethica provides each participant with an online account. The credentials of that account are the same as the ones used to sign up in the Ethica app. Participants can log in to their online account on Ethica's website at any time to access their data.
5. Participant's right to delete their data
6. Data Portability
Participants in any Ethica study can contact Ethica's Support team and ask for a copy of their data. We will provide them with a machine-readable file containing all data collected from them.
7. Data Storage and flow
Ethica stores all data on servers physically located in Canada. All Ethica employees and support staff are also located in Canada, therefore the data does not flow to any country other than Canada. Canada is considered by the EU Data Protection Commission as a country that provides adequate data protection.
As many as you need. There is no limitation on the number of questions you can have in your survey. But keep in mind if you plan to ask the survey periodically, having many questions can negatively impact the response rate.
When you login to Ethica with your Researcher account, Ethica will take you to the Researcher Dashboard, where you can have access to all the data collected for your study.
You may choose to export the data in different formats, or explore them directly via the dashboard. Researcher Dashboard provides a few data visualizations mostly aimed at adherence monitoring. You also have access to a few web-based data analysis tools such as Kibana.
If you need to perform more in-depth analysis, you can simply export data in your desired format.
When Ethica captures data from the participant's device, it encrypts the data and stores it on the phone as long as necessary. The data will be removed only when they're uploaded to the servers. Suppose a given participant does not have an Internet connection for an extended period. In that case, the data accumulates on their phone, and as soon as a connection is available, the data is uploaded.
There are two pitfalls to be aware of here. First, when a large amount of data is stored on the device and not uploaded yet, the chances of losing all the data because of phone hardware issues increases. The person might lose the phone or might break it, and in that case, all buffered data are lost.
Also, if a large amount of data are buffered on the device, the device might run out of space to record new data. This is particularly a problem with low-end older phones which have smaller memory.
So while the app does it's best not to lose any data, it's always good to make sure the data is received from all participants regularly.
By default, Ethica allocates a unique ID to each new participant and uses that to store their data in the database. This ID is also used across the website to show their data. This approach guarantees the personal information of the participants, such as their first and last name and email address, is stored separately from their study-related data. It also ensures this information is not accidentally exposed to the wrong person via the Researcher Dashboard.
Ethica keeps track of the participant's timezone, and if they travel long enough that their timezone changes, Ethica automatically reschedules all surveys and study settings based on the new timezone.
Keep in mind that the timezone change is received from the participant's smartphone or browser.