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November 22, 2011

Moderate Sensitivity Data

After placing an initial emphasis on delineating which research data fall under the High Sensitivity category I now wonder which fall under the Moderate Sensitivity category. Data Types such as Proprietary Data and Geolocations of Cultural Assets and Endangered Species* Data fall under High Sensitivity (AKA, Sensitive Data) per UM policy which leaves the cupboard bare at MS.

*Yes, great name and thank you.

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What research data are Moderate Sensitivity?

Queue a rampaging google search and documentation session.

University of Iowa (Fight! Fight! Fight! for IOWA!!) - Indicates some research data are of Moderate Sensitivity. I thank you, Hawkeyes, in a highly non-specific manner.
- Update (Jan 16, 2012) - UI's data classification page uses three sensitivity categories. Great minds and all that...

DataONE - the ecological informatics guru's weigh in on this topic- serious adverse effect to an organization as a result of the loss of confidentiality with no examples. Although they do reference FIPS 199 [hint: foreshadowing]

University of Miami does not identify research data as falling under Moderate Sensitivity

Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG) is somewhat specific calling MS data that which is Coded/Limited Data. They also have a somewhat opaque flowsheet for determining Data Sensitivity.

A limited data set is protected health information that excludes certain identifiers but permits the use and disclosure of more identifiers than in a de-identified data set. In particular, the limited data set allows the inclusion of all dates, 5 digit ZIP codes, and city as indirect identifiers. A limited data set may be used only for the purposes of research, public health, or health care operations. - source and another source for good measure.

University of Maryland - overview of data classification from their Office of Information Technology. Despite a barrage of acronyms this is useful.**

- NIST's FIPS 199- Federal governments response to data classification needs brought upon by FISMA
- FISCAM - is the manual that is used by OLA to audit us
- GREAT University Policies - George Washington, Stanford*** and UT-Austin

** Although I wonder how many people this talk has put to sleep.
***Stanford's policies have changed since this presentation was assembled

NIH - Two obscure documents and a presentation that includes the caBIG item I link above define Moderate Sensitivity data, in part, as that which is unpublished.


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What have I learned from this Rampaging Google Search and Documentation Session™?

A lot but not too much of immediate use. I'm beginning to think Moderate Sensitivity data include unpublished and unique research data. This creates space for Low Sensitivity data to become published data. The problem is, both categories seem to become catch-alls with a lack of specific examples (aka Data Types).

Posted by kkwaiser at November 22, 2011 08:58 AM

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