2 April 2020 | 10:00 - 16:00 BST Salford M50 3AZ | The Lowry

This event is now sold out. To join the Wait List, please contact John McMillan: john[dot]mcmillan[at]dpconline.org.

The DPC invites you to join us for this briefing day to learn about the challenges to identifying, managing and securing information containing sensitive or restricted information within a preservation environment. Speakers from a range of backgrounds and experiences will describe the problem from their own context. Participants will have the opportunity to pose questions to the speakers but also to learn from each other how different organisations are tackling this critical issue.



Providing access to digital archive collections and sharing forms of digital data create new opportunities for learning and re-use. Opening up digital collections also supports organisational transparency and openness, particularly for public bodies. However, not all information can be ethically or safely shared. Whether it pertains to classified government information or human subjects represented in a research study, forms of sensitive data must be identified and restricted to an appropriate level of access or no access at all. Traditional methods of manual review for sensitive information in paper documents does not scale to the volume of data enabled by digital technologies. While digital formats facilitate sharing and re-use, particularly through remote access, they also present a much larger challenge for identifying sensitive information. In some cases, the consequences of accidentally releasing sensitive information are very serious, potentially compromising human safety. The need for collecting organisations to balance these two important objectives - sharing data and protecting sensitive information - creates a high demand for approaches to automating the identification of sensitive information within the volumes of data received by an archive or repository.

This briefing day addresses the challenges to identifying, managing and securing information containing sensitive or restricted data within a preservation environment. Speakers from a range of backgrounds and experiences will describe the problem from their own context. These talks will demonstrate the importance of properly managing sensitive data. Throughout the day, participants will hear about approaches taken at other organisations, including strategies for automating the identification of digital records with potentially sensitive data for review. This briefing day does not explicitly provide guidance on GDPR or other legal regulations but may address how legal compliance has influenced some approaches to managing sensitive data. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of the speakers and engage with fellow practitioners. We aim for attendees to leave with new ideas and confidence for securing sensitive or restricted data as part of digital preservation workflows at their own institutions.

Indicative Programme

10.00 Tea, coffee, registration

10.30 Welcome

10.40 Keynote: The problem of sensitive data in digital records from a humanitarian aid organisation perspective by Montserrat Canela Garayoa, UNHCR

11.10 Technical solutions for highlighting sensitive data in government records by Tim Gollins, National Records of Scotland

11.40 Sensitive data in a research data context by Zosia Beckles, University of Bristol

12.15 Lunch

13.00 Technical Framework for Automating the Detection of Sensitive Data by Graham McDonald, University of Glasgow

13.20 Curating the Wendy Cope Email Archive Using ePADD by Rachel Foss and Callum McKean, British Library

13.40 Managing Sensitive Information at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland by Hugh Campbell

14.00 Case Study

14.20 Questions

14.30 Comfort Break

14.45 Panel Session

15.45 Final Questions & Next Steps

16.00 Close


Who should come?

This workshop will interest:

  • Archivists, librarians and curators with collections that contain sensitive or restricted information
  • Digital preservation specialists and repository managers who look after digital materials containing sensitive or restricted information
  • Records managers and other relevant staff responsible for collecting or managing records containing sensitive or restricted information
  • Information architects and engineers tasked with developing technical infrastructures for identifying sensitive or restricted information
  • Postgraduate students or early career professionals with an interest in learning more about managing sensitive or restricted information


Pre-requisites for attendance

Attendees do not need to be experts in digital preservation or managing sensitive information to attend this briefing day. Attendees will benefit from a basic knowledge of digital content in general, how it behaves, and the over-arching challenges to preserving it.


How to register?

Places are strictly limited and should be booked in advance. Registration will close at 12:00 GMT on 26th March 2020 and early booking is recommended as we expect this event will be popular. Registration is free for DPC members and £275 for non-members.

There is a limit of 3 places per Full Member and 1 place per Associate Member and these will be available on a 'first come, first served' basis. Additional registrations will be accepted but will be placed on the wait list until registration closes a week before the event. To check if your organisation qualifies for free attendance, please check the DPC Member List. If you have any questions about registration please contact John McMillan (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Briefing days usually fill up quickly, so early registration is recommended. DPC members can claim their free place by entering the promotional code DPCMEMBER. Cancellations will be accepted until 12:00 GMT on 26th March 2020, a 'no show' fee of £275 will be charged for those who cancel after this time.


Can't make it in person?

Parts of this event will be broadcast live on the day and recordings shared on the DPC website page for Members (login required).

Follow the event on Twitter using #dpc_YourEyesOnly


DPC Inclusion & Diversity Policy

The DPC Community is guided by the values set out in our Strategic Plan and aims to be respectful, welcoming, inclusive and transparent. It encourages diversity in all its forms and is committed to being accessible to everyone who wishes to engage with the topic of digital preservation. The DPC asks all those who are part of this community and/or attending a DPC event be positive, accepting, and sensitive to the needs and feelings of others in alignment with our DPC Inclusion & Diversity Policy.




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