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What is Sensitive Data?

Sensitive data may contain information that should remain confidential in order to protect an individuals privacy, intellectual property, or an organization. Before depositing your data, it should be de-identified or anonymized to protect confidentiality or, if appropriate, intellectual property rights.

The Department of Health and Human Services provides detailed information about the de-identification of protected health information in their guide.

Including Statements About Sensitive Data in DMPs

If your research will produce sensitive data, you need to address this in you data management plan. You must not release any data that contains confidential or proprietary information. Data must be properly de-identified or anonymized prior to sharing.

The Office of Research and Graduate Studies has approved a statement regarding the sharing of confidential and proprietary information:

USU agrees with the principles that "data should be made as widely and freely available as possible while safeguarding the privacy of participants, and protecting confidential and proprietary data." In keeping with this guidance, USU follows policies and procedures which safeguard individuals, enhance national security, and appropriately protect confidential and proprietary information. Providing these protections may affect the timing or scope of data sharing. However, USU is committed to providing access to data related to its research outcomes as required under agency data sharing policies, generally no later than the time of final publication.

Extra Help

There are online resources to help you learn about sensitive data, direct and indirect identifiers, and how to prepare your data for sharing:

Need Help?

Contact us if you have questions or need help.

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