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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 IDs

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

The Anonymize Worker IDs feature anonymizes Mechanical Turk Worker IDs, as discussed below.
When you enable the Anonymize Worker IDs feature, all Worker IDs that appear in your study's downloadable CSV file will appear encrypted. For example, if the Worker ID 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 Worker ID can be used:
  • Exclude and Include Feature supports both Amazon Worker IDs and the encrypted TurkPrime Worker IDs.
  • Reusable Worker Groups can specify both Amazon Worker IDs and the encrypted TurkPrime Worker IDs.
  • Bonus Workers can specify both Amazon Worker IDs and the encrypted TurkPrime Worker IDs.