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Newly formed Privacy Office will unify University’s approach to protecting information

A message from UW Provost and Executive Vice President Gerald J. Baldasty

As a public university, there are situations in which it is imperative that we protect the privacy and confidentiality of individuals’ information. As we pursue our academic, research, health-care and business activities, it is vital that we each understand our humanitarian, ethical and legal obligations when it comes to individuals’ privacy.

The recently established Privacy Office will develop universal privacy principles that uphold the University of Washington’s values and provide consistent reporting on privacy activities, risks and policies. In addition, the office will be aligning the UW’s overall approach to protecting privacy and creating an institution-wide structure and strategy that unifies privacy at all UW locations. This will help ensure that all units of our University are upholding our values surrounding the collection and use of identifiable data, and are doing so for the benefit of all the individuals the UW serves in the state of Washington and beyond.

The Privacy Office, formed with funds and staff from the Office of the Chief Information Security Officer, UW-IT and Academic & Student Affairs, will be led by Ann Nagel, who was recently named institutional privacy official and associate vice provost of institutional privacy. Ann was most recently director and associate chief information security officer in the Office of the Chief Information Security Officer. In her new role, Ann will report to Phil Reid, vice provost for Academic & Student Affairs.

The Privacy Office will work closely with individuals across the University on a range of vital responsibilities, including:

  • Establishing a UW-wide privacy steering committee.
  • Overseeing and approving privacy related policies and standards that apply to more than one organization, or involve more than one type of data, at the UW.
  • Coordinating confidentiality agreements, consent forms, notice of privacy practices or related opt-in/opt-out choices.
  • Providing oversight and direction for investigations and incidents involving individually identifiable data and making the final determination of notification to individuals and outside parties.
  • Advising colleagues on ways to balance the broad nature of privacy risk and
  • Evaluating and making recommendations for the release or sharing of identifiable information to external service providers.

Without individuals trusting us with their information, it would be impossible for us to fulfill our mission. We owe it to those we serve to ensure that their information is handled securely and appropriately.


Gerald J. Baldasty
Provost and Executive Vice President
Professor, Department of Communication