Confidentiality Protocols

Data Security, Confidentiality and Copyright Policy

The security of biodiversity information is a serious issue. SxBRC has systems established to respect not only the irreplacability of the dataset, but also the confidence of recorders, national legislation and the protocols of the national and local recording schemes. Outlined below are the principle procedures that are undertaken to ensure the security of data.

  • SxBRC data is backed up daily. Copies are saved in a fire-proof safe and once a week a copy is taken off site. We have backups stretching back six months.
  • Sensitive species information is contained on one database. This is password protected and is only available to limited staff and volunteers.
  • All SxBRC enquiries require the completion of an information request form. This form requires the enquirer to sign a declaration that ensures that the information provided by a Record Centre report will only be used for legitimate purposes.
  • When reports from this database are printed, a footnote is added reminding the recipient that 'ownership of the data remains with the original recorders and copyright remains with the Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre. Reproduction of the material is prohibited.'
  • Some records are reported to the Record Centre on the understanding that they are confidential; this is usually an issue of species or site protection. SxBRC recognises the importance of confidentiality and if an enquiry area covers a site where there is confidential record(s) the enquirer is made aware. If they need further information, SxBRC will liase directly with the original recorder.
  • The Record Centre shares its computer data with other data inputting individuals (data keyers) and bodies and its partners for furthering the quality of biodiversity information held in Sussex. Each recipient of the Record Centre's computerised data receives it having formally agreed to respect the confidentiality standards of the Record Centre.
  • Confidentiality and security protocols are regularly reassessed through negotiation with data providers and data users.