Duke Alert Bar



Duke is committed to appropriate oversight and takes safeguarding sensitive and/or regulated information seriously, promoting responsible stewardship of information assets institution-wide. For details on personally identifiable information (PII), see PII attributes.

With responsibility for assuring Duke University leadership over the PII life cycle and safeguarding sensitive information assets, Duke Privacy assesses and collaborates with campus stakeholders to address institutional privacy-related risks and plays an instrumental role in facilitating compliance with federal, state and global privacy laws and regulations.

Grounding all in the Fair Information Practices Principles and Privacy by Design, Duke Privacy takes a strategic, collaborative, dynamic and privacy awareness-first approach to its operational role for the institution and offers:


  • Privacy impact assessments with Duke University departments and schools
  • Vendor privacy reviews
  • Consultations
  • Contract reviews for engagements processing sensitive personal data
  • Incident investigations and reporting
  • Training
  • Review of research studies processing sensitive personal data
  • Subject matter resource for international and U.S. privacy regulation compliance


  • Demonstrate and practice concern for the privacy of alumni, faculty, research subjects, staff and students
  • Manage privacy risks proactively and pragmatically
  • Promote and support Privacy by Design

Duke values freedom of expression, the diversity of values and perspectives inherent in an academic institution, the right to acknowledgment, and privacy for all Duke community members. At the same time, Duke by law may be required to access and disclose information from computer and network users.

Duke Privacy is responsible for University privacy incident assessments and investigates allegations of regulatory violations and impermissible disclosures of sensitive, restricted and regulated information as defined by the Duke Data Classification Standard and protected by such laws and regulations as the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), the North Carolina Identity Theft Protection Act of 2005 and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).  Privacy ensures timely compliance with federal and state breach investigation and reporting requirements.

Every privacy incident assessment involves:

  • A thorough investigation of the alleged violation and of the information allegedly disclosed
  • An evaluation of the use and adequacy of the privacy and information technology (IT) security controls implemented for safeguarding the information at issue
  • Breach remediation and mitigation assistance
  • Cooperation with and recommendations to Duke Human Resources and/or management
  • Training and guidance to educate and/or reinforce best practices for safeguarding information assets to ensure compliance with federal and state laws and regulations and Duke policies

IT security and privacy are often mistakenly considered to be interchangeable. Information security and privacy are not the same, and the difference is critical. Privacy assesses what information needs to be protected and security addresses how to protect it. Privacy looks at the characterization of the information and identifies the protections that may be required. Security addresses the controls necessary to electronically protect the information. Duke’s Privacy and IT Security teams work closely together to ensure appropriate safeguarding of Duke’s information assets. Links to information security offices at Duke are: