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Careless Talk Costs Lives

I’ve just had a timely reminder from our Head of Security about the need to ensure the security of personal information from people that are not entitled to have it. A member of the public – from what I’m told a very friendly and well-mannered person – was enquiring at the University as to whether a particular student had a specific medical condition. Fortunately, staff were on the ball and didn’t pass on anything that they shouldn’t have.

The title of this post comes from the World War 2 propoganda campaign run by the British government. It was designed to shock people into realising the possible consequences of revealing information to people they didn’t know, in case they were spies. I would hope that nothing we hold in the University would be quite so risky to our students or staff that it would cost lives, but it is nevertheless true that there can real and serious implications if personal information gets in to the wrong hands.

With it being the start of 2012, it seems like a good time just to reinforce the message that we need to be very careful not to share personal information with third parties unless we are sure that it is appropriate to do so.

If you think you or your staff could benefit from some training about when it is permissible to pass on information to third parties, please ensure that you check the Staff Development Matters booklet for details of upcoming courses on the Data Protection Act, and if you’re not sure about anything Data Protection-y, please get in touch with the Information Governance Manager ( and ask!


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