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Can Data Governance Address the Conundrum of Who Owns Data?

A frequent dilemma that confronts organizations that collect and use information in the Connected Age is the question of who owns the data in the organization’s possession.   Colleges and universities collect and use personally identifiable information (PII), academic content produced by students or faculty, and research data and results.  Defining ownership is a complex legal issue because it often confuses intellectual property rights with privacy and security considerations.  However, it is probably an instance where the old adage that “possession is nine-tenths of the law” does not sufficiently answer the question.

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Top-10 IT Issues, Policy Implications, and Managing Risk

The 2013 Top-10 IT Issues list reflects the most current and pressing topics in higher education technology. The issues will likely come as no surprise to you, and are topics that EDUCAUSE has been focusing on in its programs this past year and beyond. Topics such as “improving student outcomes through an approach that leverages technology” (issue #2) have often been looked at through the lens of policy, seeing how accountability and student success systems are being called for by lawmakers in order to provide both effective and affordable education. 

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NIST Posts Initial Analysis of Comments on Cybersecurity Framework

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced that it has prepared an initial analysis of hundreds of comments submitted by industry and the public related to the President's "Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity" Executive Order issued in February.  NIST is making the initial analysis available as a status update and to provide background for a workshop later this month to discuss the Cybersecurity Framework.  The workshop will be held at Carnegie Mellon University on May 29-31, 2013.  

ED Kicks Off Information Management Week with a Data Privacy Panel

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of the Chief Privacy Officer kicked off Information Management Week (May 7-9, 2013) with a keynote panel discussion on "Big Data, Small Data, Apps & Analytics:  Can We Transform Education Without Sacrificing Privacy?"  CPO Kathleen Styles opened the event by commenting on the explosion of online data and communications and the shift from when data was only collected for decision-making purposes to an era when virtually everything related to our use of technology devices is collected - often without our knowledge and occasionally with no intial intended use in mind.   She also described the impact of our mobile devices that are with us every where that we go, and most ot them include geolocation tools.

Richard Culatta, Acting Director of the Department's Office of Educational Technology, set the stage by describing the challenges that we face in education: 

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NTIA Broadband Adoption Toolkit Unveiled at SHLB Conference

The Department of Commerce used the occasion of the annual conference of the Schools, Healthcare, Libraries and Broadband (SHLB) coalition to announce the release of a new NTIA Broadband Adoption Toolkit.  Larry Strickling, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, delivered the keynote address where he highlighted federal investments that have benefited anchor institutions.  For example, he reported:

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EDUCAUSE Submits Comments to NIST on Cybersecurity Framework

EDUCAUSE submitted comments on behalf of the Higher Education Information Security Council (HEISC) to address several questions raised by a NIST Request for Information concerning standards, guidelines, or best practices that promote the protection of information and information systems.  You can also review all of the comments received.  The Request For Information (RFI) issued by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (N

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NIST Announces Cybersecurity Framework Workshop

The National Institute for Standards in Technology (NIST) has announced a Cybersecurity Framework Workshop to be held on April 3rd at its headquarters in Gaithersburg, Maryland.  According to the announcement, "NIST is interested in collecting information about current risk management practices; use of frameworks, standards, guidelines and best practices; and specific industry practices."  The workshop is being held in response to a directive from the recent Cybersecurity Executive Order issued by President Obama that charges NIST to work with the public and private sectors to develop a framework for securing critical infrastructures.  NIST has also issued a Re

The Copyright Alert System Debated by the Congressional Internet Caucus

As a follow-up to our recently reported Policy Update blog entitled "Copyright Alert System Goes into Effect," the Congressional Internet Caucus held a briefing on Capitol Hill on "Combating Piracy online:  The Copyright Alert System, A Voluntary Approach."  The briefing was covered by C-SPAN and is accessible here.

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Who is checking your email?

What is your campus policy and procedure for access to employee email?  If you don't know - or you don't have it written down - it might be time to review your practice, write it down, and vet it with the appropriate governance bodies.  The issue of administration access to employee email has been peaked on campus because of a New York Times article that described a controversy brewing at Harvard University.  The University had become concerned about a leak to news media regarding a student disciplinary matter that they suspected was attributable to a University administrator.  According to a statement released by the University:
 

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Presidential Policy Directive Ties Together "Physical" and "Cyber" Threats

President Obama has issued a Presidential Policy Directive (PPD-21) on Critical Infrastructure Security and Relience to "advance a national unity of effort to strengthen and maintain secure, functioning, and resilient critical infrastructure."  The Directive accompanies the Executive Order on Improving Critical Infrastructure Security

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