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Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

Information about appropriate use of Google Docs. There are certain types of Personally Identifiable Information which UW Oshkosh staff and students should NOT store in Google Drive (Docs) This article outlines your responsibilities under the law and best practices regarding PII and Google Drive (Docs).

Google Drive (Docs) is an open collaborative work space, which is hosted by Google. It is important to understand that data which you store in your Google Drive (Docs) account is not stored in the UW Oshkosh campus data center, but instead in Google's data centers.


Google Drive (Docs) makes it easy for you to collaborate and share documents with others, both users and personal Google account users. Because it is easy to share and publish a Google Doc, it becomes easy to mistakenly publish a document, or share it with the wrong person or group. Because it is so easy to mistakenly share or publish data, you as the user must take care to store in Google Drive (Docs), only that information which does not contain Personally Identifiable Information items.


Wisconsin statutes define Personally Identifiable Information as:

  • Social Security Number
  • Drivers License or State ID Number
  • Financial Account Number, including credit or debit card number including PIN or password
  • DNA
  • An individual's unique biometric data.

Data containing PII should not be stored in Google Drive (Docs).


In addition, the following types of internal institutional data should NOT be stored in Google Drive (Docs):

  • Purchase Orders
  • Passwords
  • Grant Research Documents


Data Stewards responsible for PII or other institutional data should designate where sensitive information should be stored.  Generally, this is in approved folders on the campus Windows File Server (P: drive, S: drive).

by Heise, Brandon C. last modified May 30, 2012 04:50 PM