Principle 8: Data Security

Classification:  Data Principle

Statement: All data that is classified as being confidential, sensitive or personal will be protected from unauthorised use and disclosure; this includes, but is not limited to, protection of pre-decisional, sensitive, source selection-sensitive, and proprietary information.

Rationale: Open sharing of information and the release of information via relevant legislation must be balanced against the need to restrict the availability of classified, proprietary, and sensitive information.

Existing laws and regulations require the safeguarding of security and the privacy of data, while permitting free and open access. Pre-decisional (work-in-progress, not yet authorised for release) information must be protected to avoid unwarranted speculation, misinterpretation, and inappropriate use.


  • Aggregation of data both classified and not, will create a large target requiring review and declassification procedures to maintain appropriate control. Data stewards and/or functional users must determine whether the aggregation results in an increased classification level. We will need appropriate policies and procedures to handle this review and declassification.  Access to information based on a need-to-know policy will force regular reviews of the body of information.
  • Processes will need to address the classification of data being dealt with and when or if it is suitable to declassify for wider consumption.
  • In order to adequately provide access to open information while maintaining secure information, security needs must be identified and developed at the data level, not the application level.
  • Data security safeguards can be put in place to restrict access to ‘‘view only’’, or ‘‘never see’’. Sensitivity labelling for access to pre-decisional, decisional, classified, sensitive, or proprietary information must be determined.
  • Security must be designed into data elements from the beginning; it cannot be added later. Systems, data, and technologies must be protected from unauthorised access and manipulation. Vice Chancellor’s Executive information must be safeguarded against inadvertent or unauthorised alteration, sabotage, disaster, or disclosure.
  • Need new policies on managing duration of protection for pre-decisional information and other works-in-progress, in consideration of content freshness.