Personally Identifiable Information (PII) Scanning and Data Loss Prevention Software in Education: Academic Freedom, Tenure, Privacy, and Regulatory Compliance

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Proventsure publishes template for educational institution Information Technology (IT) staff and university faculty documenting importance, precedence, and requirements for auditing SSNs, credit card numbers, and other sensitive data at rest on endpoint computers

On a philosophical level, not auditing puts student information at risk. That is the antithesis of Academic Freedom

Proventsure, a leader in automated eDiscovery and Policy Management software that automatically discovers and calculates risk to sensitive and regulated data at rest on endpoint computers for Fortune 2000 and Federal organizations, today announced the release of a free template documenting the importance, legal precedence, and requirements for auditing PII, NPI, and related information. The template, for IT staff members in academia, was published in response to concerns by certain faculty members about academic freedom and privacy during regulated information audits.

The template, which has been reviewed by dozens of faculty and staff members from universities across the nation, is well researched and referenced, including:

  • The American Association of University Professors Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom as a basis for analyzing issues of freedom and privacy concurrently with auditing.
  • Federal, state, and civil case reviews discussing the foundation and scope of scanning in the educational environment.
  • Reviews of cases where victims of compromised information (eg: students) may potentially seek injunctive relief in the absence of due diligence to find and secure their personally identifiable information (eg: against faculty members or others).
  • Statistics on hundreds of security breaches, many of which stemmed from educational institutions and compromised student information.

"On a philosophical level, not auditing puts student information at risk. That is the antithesis of Academic Freedom," said Proventsure CEO, Gary Golomb. "Not auditing works against fostering trust and accountability by establishing a precedent of information mismanagement. That shakes the core of Academic Freedom as defined by the American Association of University Professors."

Proventsure's technology discovers information such as Social Security Numbers (SSNs), bank account data, credit card numbers, and related information so it can be identified (typically in files long forgotten about) and cleaned up accordingly. Universities are currently providing Proventsure's software as a free service to their user community. Proventsure's software does not violate computer users' privacy by reverse engineering Internet histories or passwords - functions proven in case law to be liabilities, yet are functions performed by non-Proventsure software that some other universities have chosen to deploy for PII scanning.

The template is available from:

More information on Proventsure:

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Gary Golomb
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