Privacy and Security with Personally Identifiable Data

If you are working with sensitive data or personally identifiable data you need to take extra precautions to protect your research subjects and their information.

Typical Considerations

  • If your data contains identifiable information on human subjects you must:
    • write a document that explicitly states the conditions of future access when your research project comes to closure
    • to the greatest extent possible, de-identify or anonymize your data when your research project comes to closure
    • If you cannot de-identify the data due to the nature of your research, restrict access to the use of your data
  • If your data contains identifiable information on human subjects or is in another way sensitive you must
    • take extra precautions when you dispose of the data or your computer hardware (secure deletion)
    • take extra precautions with access control for internal data sharing and data backup practices
    • take extra precautions with password security on the machines where the data is stored

Human Subjects Research Office

Please see the Human Subjects Research Office (HSRO) for more information on Internal Review Board guidelines and approval process in order to handle sensitive data in research at the University of Miami.

The Office for Research

The Office for Research at the University of Miami maintains two online tools for the management of sensitive data, Velos and REDcap.

  • Velos: Velos eResearch Clinical Trials Management Software is a tool for managing clinical trials data .
  • REDcap: Research Electronic Data Capture is an application that allows users to build and manage online surveys and databases quickly and securely.

UM Information Technology

UMIT also provides the Qualtrics survey tool as a way to build and manage secure online surveys.

Other resources