Today I received the following email entitled "Participate in University of Victoria Research":
Dear StackOverflow member,
I am writing you to request your participation in a brief survey (5-10 minutes max). You have been selected from a pool of individuals from the Stack Overflow community. The purpose of this study is to try to understand how gamification elements [badges, reputation] effects users motivation to post both questions and answers on stack overflow. This could help us to understand how gamification elements could be used to encourage users motivation to contribute.
Survey Link: omitted
Your participation in the survey is completely voluntary and all of your responses will be kept confidential. This survey has been designed and complies with University of Victoria HREB policy and therefore, "potential participants can reasonably expect to regard the possible harms implied by participation to be no greater than those encountered by the participant in those aspects of [their] everyday life that relate to the research." No personally identifiable information will be associated with your responses to any reports of these data and at any time if you do wish to withdraw you may even after submitting approval for inclusion in the study.
The University of Victoria Human Research Ethics Board has approved this survey. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact us.
Thank you for your consideration.
Arturo Reyes Lopez, MSc. Student
Department of Computer Science
University of Victoria, Canada
The email was sent using MailChimp, and because of this I can see that I'm part of a mailing list entitled "About Reputation from 10,000 to inf.":
Looks like they've scraped a bunch of 10k+ reputation users and (in my case, at least) visited their listed GitHub pages and extracted their publicly-visible email addresses.
I certainly don't mind this as it was a conscious decision of mine to list that particular email address publicly, however I'm creating this post here as I'm not sure if SE agrees with this practice. I don't know whether it may be worth reaching out to the University of Victoria to allow them to carry out their research in a more, I don't know, ethical way, perhaps?