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Sources of Confidential Data


Some jobs are far more likely to access and store confidential data than others. Knowing which ones can help you prioritize data cleanup.

Important: Regardless of their role, people who have ever done any of the following probably have confidential data on their computer.

  • Arranged travel.
  • Handled reimbursement requests for visiting speakers or faculty.
  • Hired students or employees.
  • Written letters of recommendation.
  • Handled transcripts or CVs.

Who Encounters Confidential Data?

  • Human Resources: Social Security numbers are an essential identifier and are seen in older job applications, CVs, background checks, benefits registration, and tax materials.  
  • Financial Aid: Aid applications may require tax returns, bank statements, and other documentation. These contain social security numbers and bank account numbers.
  • Financial Affairs: Reimbursements, travel expenditures, compensation, and purchasing often contain social security numbers for tax reporting and, occasionally, credit card numbers.  
  • University Registrar/Admissions: Social Security numbers remain a unique identifier within the university and other schools, testing agencies, and transcript clearinghouses.  
  • Alumni Affairs: Confidential data is a common component of the giving process due to its role as an income tax identifier.
  • Health Services and Health Benefits: Protected Health Information is part of their daily operations.
  • IT and Functional Support of Central Systems: PeopleSoft administrators and those who support them frequently come into contact with confidential data.

About this Article

Last updated: 

Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 9:36pm

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