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Data Privacy Week 2024 -Take control of your Data

When was the last time you took stock?

January 22, 2024 — 

Data Privacy Week this year urges us to “Take Control of your Data”. When was the last time you took stock of all the data you’ve shared about yourself online, or with the apps on your phone?

Data Privacy Week, observed around the world, aims to ensure individuals are informed about their privacy rights, and the importance of safeguarding their information.  Taking control of your data, both for your personal and professional life, is a great way to start a new year.

Take Control of your Data – personal edition

According to the Merriam-Webster online Dictionary, privacy is defined as “freedom from unauthorized intrusion”. Chances are you have a smart phone, and have downloaded a variety of apps, and use a social media platform or two.  When was the last time you looked at what “intrusion” you have actually authorized?

Data Privacy week is a good time to reflect on what you have shared, and where.  Remember, the golden rule of privacy is to share the minimum amount of information with the minimum amount of people who have legitimate need to the information! Do your apps really need to know your location all the time?  Or have access to your entire camera roll and address book?

  • What social media do you have active profiles? Are there any platforms you no longer use?  Have you deleted your accounts on inactive profiles?
  • What personal information is shared with each platform and app that you use? Consider what apps really need access to location or camera roll to use and enjoy them. Don’t share more contact information than needed!
  • New year refresh: review your privacy settings on all your social media accounts and apps and update them as needed.

Take Control of your Data – Work edition

We’ve all experienced changes in our work locations and work routines after the past few years. Now that we are settling into a Flexible work option, it is a good time to evaluate where data and records are being stored in the office. Information should be stored in a secure place that supports use and access by the employees who need it.

Creating an inventory or file plan outlining what and where data is stored, and how it is accessed by authorized staff will help you in the future if anything should happen to the data.  You don’t need to list where every file or record is, but you can maintain a list the names of the software/database that hold specific records and files, detail what is maintained on the Shared Drive, and who has access to what folders in your department.

Things to think about:

  • Do you have any inactive Teams for closed projects where the data needs to be moved and managed?
  • Are you keeping Team memberships up to date when staff move to other roles?
  • Does your team use any vendor hosted platforms or software services? Have you been managing records and data on those platforms in accordance with University retention rules?
  • Do you have any legacy software – located either on campus or in Software applications that is no longer used?  Is there still data and records in there to be managed?

If you have any questions about data privacy or records retention rules, please contact Judy Dandurand, Access and Privacy Officer or, Rachelle Ross, Records and Information Officer at fippa[at]umanitoba [dot]ca to talk.



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