UW Privacy Office


Last updated on December 13, 2022

Aligning UW Values and Privacy Principles with Operations

UW Values: UW vision and strategic priorities reflect the core values and culture that reaffirm the UW as a great and unique University. (Top of the pyramid)
Privacy Principles: Privacy principles are the commitments and considerations to which the UW’s collection and use of personal data should always be anchored. (Center of the pyramid)
Privacy by Design: Privacy by design is an approach for protecting personal data by embedding privacy considerations and practices throughout an organization’s operations, business processes, information systems, and technologies. (Bottom of the pyramid)

Privacy and Data Ethics

This 7-minute Privacy and Data Ethics video offers an overview of legal and ethical responsibilities for protecting the personal data of all UW constituents. Production of this video was a collaborative effort between UW Bothell IT and the UW Privacy Office.


We uphold the UW’s values to guide decisions about how the processing of personal data (such as collection, use, storage, and retention) impacts the UW and individuals. We demonstrate our values by honoring our commitments to individuals.


We respect individuals’ privacy when we collect and use personal data. We understand that personal data represent and have an impact on individuals and communities.


We work to maintain, present, and use accurate and reliable personal data in a way that promotes trusted relationships with individuals.


We recognize various dimensions of diversity and work to protect individuals’ privacy as we work to pursue UW’s vision. We reflect on what privacy means to different geographic regions, cultures, generations, and individuals.


We hold ourselves to the highest standard of ethics when we use personal data within and on behalf of UW.


We assess the privacy impacts to individuals when collaborating with people and organizations to process personal data. We share personal data within the parameters of federal, state, and international law. Any partners and vendors who collect or process data on our behalf are directed through contracts or other means to protect the privacy of personal data.


We may use personal data to enable the UW’s vision for the future, support the individuals we serve, and advance research. Before using personal data in this way, we endeavor to balance and manage the risk to the UW and privacy impact to individuals.

Privacy Principles

Our privacy principles encompass and expand on UW values to help ensure the collection and use of personal data reflects our academic, humanitarian, ethical, and legal obligations. Our use of personal data stems from the purpose for which we collected the data.


We think carefully about what data are required to fulfill a specific operation, project, or system and collect only the necessary data elements. We only retain personal data as long as needed to fulfill its purpose and be consistent with the UW records retention schedules and relevant or applicable law.


We are accountable for governing and managing the collection, use, and flow of personal data in ways that are consistent with our commitments.


We think carefully about controls to safeguard personal data. Regardless of the form (paper, digital, etc.), this includes: considering de-identification, anonymization, obfuscation; implementing technical controls such as encryption and role-based access; and securing the physical location and storage.


We endeavor to be transparent about what data are collected, how they are used, how they are shared, and how they are stored. We strive to make choices clear and manageable and to provide opportunities for individuals to exercise privacy preferences by using either opt-out or opt-in methodologies.