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Introduction to confidentiality. Diana Galpin Research and Innovation Services (R&IS). What do we mean by Information?. Information (Any) e.g. Reports Data Designs Plans Processes Commercial Financial. When is it confidential?. Confidential / Secret Not in the public domain

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introduction to confidentiality

Introduction to confidentiality

Diana Galpin

Research and Innovation Services (R&IS)

what do we mean by information
What do we mean by Information?

Information (Any)

e.g.

  • Reports
  • Data
  • Designs
  • Plans
  • Processes
  • Commercial
  • Financial
when is it confidential
When is it confidential?

Confidential / Secret

  • Not in the public domain
  • Commercially sensitive
  • Official Secret
why is it so important
Why is it so important?

Failure to maintain confidentiality has consequences:

  • Patents - as they won’t be granted
  • Publication – publishers don’t want old ideas
  • Competitiveness – remember all the other academics fighting for the same funding
  • Collaboration – trust is essential so don’t go and blow it
  • Contractual Obligation – the Uni might owe it to the client but remember you are also obligated to the Uni
  • Litigation – this is costly, stressful and to be avoided
where the obligation is found 1
Where the obligation is found (1)

Confidentiality obligations will usually be in an Agreement – e.g.

  • Confidentially Agreements – aka CDAs, PIAs, NDAs
  • Research collaborations
  • Sponsored research
  • Studentships
  • Consultancy
  • MTA’s
  • Software Licences
where the obligation is found 2
Where the obligation is found (2)

By operation of the Law

  • Information has quality of confidence about it
  • It was imparted in circumstances that would reasonably make you realise the information was to be treated as confidential
  • Your unauthorised use/disclosure of the information is to the detriment of the person who gave it to you

TIP

  • Do use this rule if you receive information
  • Don’t rely on this if you are giving information
how are you obligated
How are you obligated?
  • As Staff – contract of employment & IP regulations
  • As Student – IP regulations
  • As an individual who has signed a confidentiality agreement / commitment
  • By law – can be inferred from the situation that should treat as confidential
  • Trust - want to continue in the academic community / doing collaborative work?
what does it mean in practice 1
What does it mean in practice? (1)

Do

  • Keep confidential information safely
  • Sign out of your computer
  • Password protect documents/files
  • Be careful when cutting & pasting
  • Comply with any stipulations in the contract
  • Keep all confidential info from one source on one project in a separate file
  • Mark your information as “CONFIDENTIAL”
  • Keep a record of everything you have disclosed
  • THINK
what does it mean in practice 2
What does it mean in practice? (2)

Don’t

  • Leave office unlocked and confidential information freely scattered across your office/desk
  • Leave confidential information out when having a meeting
  • Post information on a website
  • Include others confidential information in your publication unless you have cleared it first
  • Leave information on a train
  • Reply all on an email & attach
  • Have too much to drink and shout it from your bar stool
what does it mean in practice 3
What does it mean in practice? (3)

You Can

  • Discuss with the people you have permission to e.g. supervisor, colleagues & collaborating partners involved in the project (make sure they are also bound)
  • Use for the purpose set out in the agreement e.g. carrying out of project / preparing a proposal
  • Discuss your own information with your peers (just be careful who – remember the potential Patent)
what does it mean in practice 4
What does it mean in practice? (4)

You Can’t

  • Use for something outside the purpose outlined in the agreement e.g. on a different project than the one they have agreed to…
  • Publish without the owners permission
  • Present their information without their permission
what does it mean in practice 5
What does it mean in practice? (5)

Publications

  • May have to be delayed
  • May have to remove certain information

Theses

  • Can be examined so you can get your PhD
  • May have to be put on restricted access in the library
when should you instigate
When should you instigate?

As a general rule if you want to discuss unpatented inventions, know-how, intellectual property or other commercially sensitive/secret information with another person who is not an employee of the University get a CDA in place FIRST

  • New area of research
  • Collaborating on a project
  • Development funding
  • Spin out or licensing
how to instigate
How to instigate

Staff

  • Contact the person responsible for your school in R&IS (see penultimate slide)

Students

  • In first instance contact your supervisor
  • Get him to contact R&IS as per above
  • Only if this fails should you contact R&IS directly
if you receive an agreement 1
If you receive an agreement (1)

Agreements the University enters into:

  • Contact the person responsible for your school in R&IS (see penultimate slide)
  • They must be reviewed, negotiated &/or approved
  • Signed by an Authorised Signatory – which is NOT you
if you receive an agreement 2
If you receive an agreement (2)

Agreements you sign but for a project you are doingat the University:

  • Contact the person responsible for your school in R&IS (see penultimate slide)
  • They will advise and possibly require the agreement to be with the University not you
  • In any event they must be reviewed, negotiated &/or approved
  • You should only sign if you personally are a Party
who to contact for help
Who to contact for help?

Before discussing Research or Consultancy work

  • Contract Managers in Research and Innovation Support Office

http://www.southampton.ac.uk/ris/team/index.html

Before discussing Spin out/Licensing/Investment

  • Business Managers in Research and Innovation Services

hhttp://www.southampton.ac.uk/ris/team/index.html

further information
Further Information

Think your Research Group / School would benefit from a specific workshop on this? If so we would be pleased to assist so do get in contact.

Email: ris@soton.ac.uk

Tel: 023 8059 3095

Internal Extension: 23095