‘I have nothing to hide. Why should I care about privacy?’

Overhead view of scholar writing at large desk with tea and weighty books

‘I have nothing to hide. Why should I care about privacy?’

We offer three reasons for the university community to care about privacy:

1. Learning is personal

As much as we grow through our community, learning is essentially an internal transformation.

Keeping grades, letters of recommendation, and evaluations private is not about hiding. It’s about keeping assessments candid and providing feedback for learning — without branding people with a reputation to live up to or live down.

Protecting student privacy is also federal law.

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Privacy at UCB

"I have nothing to hide. Why should I care about privacy?" (Berkeley Blog 1/25/2017)

Pursuing Academic Freedom and Data Privacy Is a Balancing Act (EdSurge 10/26/2016)

UCB's Transparency Reports:

Where did privacy go? The role of IT in protecting core UC Berkeley values (Micronet presentation)

6 Tips for Protecting Privacy at UCB

The Chief Privacy Officer in Higher Education (EDUCAUSE)
Discussion of the role of privacy officers in higher education and expectations for the future of the function. Includes references to the UC privacy initiative.

UC Statement of Privacy Values and UC Privacy Principles

Privacy vs. Privacy (Berkeley Blog)
UC Berkeley is replacing the longstanding "security vs. privacy" polemic with a triptych of interrelated and overlapping terms: autonomy privacy, information privacy, and information security. But the old conundrum remains: common best practices for protecting information privacy can negatively impact autonomy privacy.

"Privacy is fundamental to the University...

Academic and intellectual freedoms are values of the academy that help further the mission of the University. These freedoms are most vibrant where individuals have autonomy: where their inquiry is free because it is given adequate space for experimentation and their ability to speak and participate in discourse within the academy is possible without intimidation. Privacy is a condition that makes living out these values possible." (read more at Why Privacy?)

The UC Berkeley Privacy Office is the focal point for campus privacy issues. The Privacy Office strives to protect and promote UC Berkeley’s privacy values through a unified and comprehensive privacy program, and oversees institutional compliance with federal and state privacy regulations, as well as campus and UC policy.

The work of the Privacy Office is organized around four program areas:

  1. Compliance – Oversight of our legal, regulatory, and contractual privacy obligations
  2. Policy/Governance – Establishing direction, responsibilities, and intended outcomes in privacy, also interpreting privacy policy and managing the investigation of reported violations
  3. Outreach – Educating our internal community to establish expectations and promote awareness, as well as external communications and collaboration 
  4. Privacy by Design – Align campus practices with stated privacy values by building privacy safeguards into campus administrative processes.

Contact the UC Berkeley Privacy Office