The University of Virginia SSN Remediation Initiative will strengthen the privacy of personal information about its students,
faculty, staff, alumni, and other constituents by revising its
administrative and academic processes and its electronic systems
- Clarify responsibilities and accountability for safeguarding social security numbers;
- Reduce access to social security numbers not absolutely essential to institutional processes;
- Establish and implement stricter controls for safeguarding social security numbers;
- Enhance awareness of social security number privacy concerns; and
- Verify compliance routinely with policies and procedures concerning social security numbers.
The planned end state of the SSN Initiative is described as follows:
- U.Va. systems and processes ask its employees, applicants, students, prospective students, patients, alumni, donors, partners,
visitors, and other constituencies for their SSNs only when that information is absolutely required, e.g. legal requirements
such as producing W-2s.
- U.Va. systems and processes display SSNs on online screens, reports, and other forms of presentation only to those authorized
to view this information and only when needed.
- U.Va. authorizes the fewest number of people possible to access SSNs in both electronic and non-electronic form.
- SSNs are stored only on highly secured devices and file cabinets and are transferred only using highly secured protocols.
- Responsibility and accountability for protection and use of SSNs are well understood within the University.
- There are effective verification mechanisms in place to ensure compliance.
- A University-wide policy prohibits deviation from this end state unless exceptions have been granted via a rigorous review process.
The project is part of a larger initiative to provide a higher level of assurance that all confidential and otherwise
sensitive institutional data are as secure as University resources allow.
- Project provides direction to, coordination of, and visibility on SSN remediation efforts across Grounds.
- To the extent possible the project will apply solutions that will not require rework with the implementation of the Student Systems Project.
- The project scope covers the entire University.
- The project is likely to take two years to complete, but improvements should be apparent by the Fall 2007 semester.