University outlines new AD53 policy to protect privacy, personal information

April 15, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As part of the University’s ongoing efforts to secure and protect personally identifiable information, a new, updated policy on privacy and the protection of personal information has been implemented.

AD53 Privacy Policy provides University procedures to follow when handling PII, such as Social Security numbers, credit card and bank account numbers, driver’s licenses, state identification numbers, passports, military identification numbers, biometric data and other combinations of personal information in its possession as part of its educational, administrative and research operations.

In addition to providing a broad definition of what is considered PII, including data elements that are subject to the Pennsylvania Data Security Breach Notification Laws, the updated policy establishes a privacy governance board that will advise the University’s executive vice president and provost on privacy-related matters. The privacy governance board will offer an additional level of review and oversight of the PII management and protection process.

Supporting this policy are new guidelines, found in ADG08, that cover under what circumstances Social Security and Penn State identification numbers may be collected, stored or used. ADG08 largely incorporates, and expands upon, former policy AD19 that has since been retired.

The new and updated policy and guidelines provide additional protection for employees and students and are part of the University’s efforts to help units protect personal information and comply with local, state and federal data protection laws and regulations.

“Universities are faced with the challenge of preventing data breaches every day as cyber-incidents grow in size and frequency,” said Holly Swires, University privacy officer. “Having a robust privacy policy is essential, as the need for protecting personal information is no longer an option, it’s a necessity.”

For questions about the policy, contact the University Privacy Office at

Last Updated April 15, 2016