Understanding Cloud Storage Information Roles | Computing for Arts + Sciences

COVID-19—CAS's offices are closed on-campus, but we're open for business with some restrictions and working remotely to serve your academic IT needs.

Get IT help related to COVID-19 Access software for courses Use the computer labs remotely

UNT Banner

Understanding Cloud Storage Information Roles

To properly work with non-UNT provider systems you need to understand two terms:

Information Owner

From your perspective, you only "own" information when you wholly create the work. Just because you have some information doesn't mean you own it. The owner gives you access to the information for a specific purpose. For example, someone else owns the information you download from University systems, like:

  • UNT Registrar owns (and grants access to) class rosters
  • UNT Budget Office owns (and grants access to) the university budget

When you collaborate with others, you may enjoy full ownership or share the ownership with the contributors-depending on what you and your collaborators decide. Examples:

  • Grant proposals
  • Journal articles
  • Videos

As an information owner, you must ensure information:

  • Confidentiality: Reasonably prevent unauthorized access.
  • Integrity: Minimize damage from accidental or deliberate means.
  • Accessibility: Make information available (only to parties who need access).

The State of Texas defines an information owner as a "person with statutory or operational authority for specified information (e.g., supporting a specific business function) and responsibility for establishing the controls for its generation, collection, processing, access, dissemination, and disposal." Typically, that means the "Registrar" or "Bursar" or similar representative who maintains large information systems (things at UNT like EIS, Cognos, Raiser's Edge, Cayuse, etc.).

To protect your colleagues and enable people to acquire knowledge as part of our education and research mission, consider using a more friendly license type, including:

  • Creative Commons
  • GPL and LGPL
  • Public Domain

Information Custodian

So, If you've determined that you do not own the information, and the owner gave you access or possession of it, then you are an "information custodian."

As an information custodian, you safeguard the information's confidentiality. You should get explicit, written approval before using (or sharing) the information beyond its original stated purpose (i.e., the reason "why" the information owner gave you the information).

For example, the Budget Office may grant you access to a budget reporting site, like Cognos, to enable you to manage your accounts more effectively. However, if a colleague wants to compare budgets with you, you must get written permission from the budget office before sharing that information (or direct the colleague to a public version the Budget Office provides).

Now that you understand the basic concepts of information categories, roles, and cloud storage, you should consider how to manage information in practice.