Participant information for focus groups

You are being invited to take part in a research project. Before you decide whether to take part or not, it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what participation will involve. Please take time to read the following information and let us know ( if you have any further questions.

What is this project’s purpose?

Workplaces are increasingly full of technology that tracks worker behaviour. We want to understand people’s perceptions of workplace tracking and to develop ways for workers to collectively negotiate over workplace tracking (e.g., what is collected, how it is collected and how it is used).

Why have I been chosen?

We have solicited participation from people over the age of eighteen currently in employment. We are using opportunity sampling, so anyone who fits these criteria is invited to participate. If you are under the age of eighteen or currently unemployed then you will not be able to participate, unfortunately.

Do I have to take part?

It is up to you to decide whether or not to take part. If you do decide to take part, you will be given this information page to keep and be asked to ‘sign’ a digital consent form. You can withdraw at any time without giving a reason. To withdraw after the study you will need to allow us to retain identifying information (i.e., your email address). You can withdraw up to one month after participation; after this we will delete the mapping connecting you to your data and it will no longer be possible to identify which data you contributed.

There will be no penalty or loss of benefits to which you are otherwise entitled if you withdraw. If you decide to withdraw you will be asked what you wish to happen to the data you have provided up that point; we can make use of it or you can request it to be permanently destroyed.

What will happen to me if I take part?

Participation involves taking part in an online focus-group with a researcher and other participants. The focus-group will last for two hours. During this time the researcher will give you tasks and ask for you to discuss and share your thoughts and experiences with regard to workplace tracking.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

We are aiming to increase our knowledge about workplace-based tracking and how employees might be able to have a more meaningful say in what data is collected about them an how it is used.

What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?

You may find some aspects of the topic of the research –workplace tracking– are potentially uncomfortable for you to talk about. If you do feel uncomfortable, you should feel free to withdraw from the study at any time. There is no penalty for withdrawing. One month after you participant the ‘mapping’ of your contributions to your email address will be erased and it will no longer be possible for you to withdraw because we may no longer be able to identify you from your contributions.

What if something goes wrong?

If you would like to raise a complaint about this research, please contact the Principal Researcher, Dr Sandy Gould, at

Will my taking part in this project be kept confidential?

All the information that we collect about you during the course of the research will be kept strictly confidential. You will not be able to be identified in any ensuing reports or publications.

Limits to confidentiality

Confidentiality will be respected subject to legal constraints and professional guidelines.

What will happen to the results of the research project?

Results will be disseminated in standard academic outlets. Results may also be disseminated via general interest magazines/newspapers/journals. You will not be identified directly in any report and the researchers will seek to anonymize names, institutions etc mentioned in transcripts. Quotes may appear in published work though, and these could be identifiable to certain individuals based on a contextual understanding, although the researchers will endeavour not to use quotations where this might happen. Should you be interested in the results, we will provide them with the findings we publish.

Data Protection Privacy Notice

Cardiff University is the Data Controller and is committed to respecting and protecting your personal data in accordance with your expectations and Data Protection legislation. Further information about Data Protection, including:

  • your rights
  • the legal basis under which Cardiff University processes your personal data for research
  • Cardiff University’s Data Protection Policy
  • how to contact the Cardiff University Data Protection Officer
  • how to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office

…may be found at

Who is organising the research?

The research is being organised by Dr Sandy Gould, School of Computer Science and Informatics, Cardiff University. This research project has been reviewed by the University of Birmingham research ethics committee and also given a favourable opinion by the School of Computer Science and Informatics Research Ethics Committee.

Contact for further information

Dr Sandy Gould School of Computer Science and Informatics, Cardiff University, CF10 3AT