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How to run successful experiments and get the most out of Amazon's Mechanical Turk

Monday, January 18, 2016

Anonymize Mechanical Turk Worker ID's

We recently launched a ground-breaking feature that helps protect Mechanical Turk worker identities. It has been reported in the literature that Mechanical Turk WorkerId's can be used to identify the worker. This is because Amazon uses the same value for both the WorklerId on Mechanical and elsewhere on Amazon properties like Amazon.com product reviews.

The Anonymize Worker ID's feature anonymizes  Mechanical Turk Worker Id's, as discussed below.
When you enable the Anonymize Worker Ids feature, all WorkerId's that appear in your study's downloadable CSV file will appear encrypted. For example, if the WorkerId is "ABCDEFGHJKL", it will instead appear as "TP_1UPKSI2WHSJ4". This encrypted TurkPrime Worker ID begins with letters TP and can be used in all operations on TurkPrime where an Amazon WorkerId can be used:
  • Exclude and Include Feature supports both Amazon Worker Id's and the encrypted TurkPrime WorkerId's.
  • Reusable Worker Groups can specify both Amazon Worker Id's and the encrypted TurkPrime WorkerId's.
  • Bonus Workers can specify both Amazon Worker Id's and the encrypted TurkPrime WorkerId's.