Confidential Records Tipsheet

When Could Records Cease to be Confidential?

Some confidential information is sensitive for specified periods, but may cease to be confidential after a certain period of time or change of circumstances. E.g.:

  • Institutional plans, policies or projects would be considered confidential while in development. Once a decision has been made on them and they are disclosed broadly, they could cease to be confidential.

Identifying and Labelling Confidential Records

It is important to treat confidential records differently from those which are more broadly distributed. Confidential records should be labelled so that they are easily identifiable. Ensure that records for which circulation should be limited are clearly marked CONFIDENTIAL.

Note on the record itself or in associated notes the persons or groups who should have access to this information, e.g. Confidential – circulate to committee members only.

And, while a confidential marking does not mean that a record will not be disclosed as the result of a request for access to it, it may help to explain if the University makes a decision not to release a document in response to a request for access to it.

Storing Confidential Records

Ensure that confidential information is protected against unauthorized access. Store confidential records in a secure location such as a locked filing cabinet, locked record room or on a secure server.

Disposing of Confidential Records

Dispose of confidential information securely (by shredding or placing in a locked disposal bin for secure pick-up later), and ensure that any personal information to be destroyed has been authorized for disposal.