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Frequently Asked Questions about the Regulated Data Chart

The Regulated Data Chart provides guidance about which Cornell services can be used to store, send, or share data that is considered to be high-risk, moderate-risk, regulated, or otherwise subject to university policy or state or federal law. Learn more about how and when to use the chart.

This article applies to: Regulated Data

Who should use this chart?

Everyone at Cornell must comply with regulations and university policy when using institutional information. Regulated or high-risk university data types may be sent through or stored within only those applications where Cornell or its vendors have implemented the privacy and security safeguards required by law or university policy.

Use the Regulated Data Chart to identify services that potentially can be used with your data type before you send or store data. Your department/unit policies and your data steward ultimately govern whether you can use a particular service to send, store, or share regulated data. There are important details to be aware of, so this is a case where reading the "fine print" is critical.

The Regulated Data Chart pertains to Cornell's version of the tools listed. These are also called enterprise versions. Always make sure you are using Cornell's versions and not commercial versions that often have the same or similar names. Enterprise versions have numerous built-in protections.

If a service is listed as approved on the chart, does that mean I can use it for my data?

No. Whether or not a service may be used is a TWO-STEP analysis.

  1. The FIRST step begins with this chart. If Cornell does not support the technology, or the chart indicates that the use of regulated data is not allowed either by contract or technical safeguards, then the analysis ends there: Do not use that technology for that regulated data type.
  2. If the technology passes the first step, continue on the SECOND step, which is to determine whether, as a matter of policy, your department/unit policies and your data steward allow the data to be used with that service. If the data steward has not communicated clear guidance on this matter to you as a custodian, please consult your supervisor.

What do I do if I want to use institutional data with software or a service that isn't on the Regulated Data Chart?

Consult with your department/unit leadership and your data steward. If you decide to use institutional data with software or a service that has not been specifically approved by those entities, you will be in violation of university policy and will be personally assuming all risks and liability.

What is a data steward?

According to Policy 4.12, Data Stewardship and Custodianship, a data steward is "an individual with the responsibility for coordinating the implementation of this policy through a) the establishment of definitions of the data sets available for access and b) the development of policies and/or access procedures for those data sets." The policy provides a list of the university's data stewards.

How should a data steward use the chart?

  • If you are a data steward or a delegate, use the chart to know what baseline contractual or technical safeguards are in place for regulated data types. This information is an important starting point from which to evaluate your rules surrounding the use of the data under a data steward's purview in specific technologies.
  • If you are a custodian of university data, the chart provides general information. It is especially useful as a starting point to know what technologies/applications Cornell supports. Those that are outside of Cornell's enterprise framework should NOT be used with any regulated data. This chart may also be useful in communications with data stewards to help inform their decisions of the uses to which specific technologies could be made.

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