Is proprietary data sensitive information?

I’m pretty sure there is a clarification needed if proprietary data is considered to be sensitive information. Is proprietary data sensitive information?

Well, to answer this question, we need to understand the difference between the two and find how related they are in real life.?

Talking about proprietary data, it is documented in contracts. However, it legally isn’t meant to be published or to be disclosed to outside parties. It remains within an organization and is meant to be confidential.?

Sensitive data, on the other hand, refers to such a kind of data that if released to public or outside parties is going to have a very adverse effect or might have significant economic implications.

Data sensitive information classification

Sensitive data could be a few things generally and comprises of information of different kinds. One of the best ways to think about the same is to think of personal information that you want to keep to yourself.?

There are different pieces of sensitive data that are categorized as:

Personal Information Includes medical records, addresses, bank information, DL number, personal numbers, etc.

Govt Information – Documents that are classified as secret, restricted or confidential and could be considered as a breach of confidential information.

Financial Information – It includes bank account information, credit or debit card numbers, social security numbers.

Business information – It consists of financial records, trade secrets, business blueprints or other sensitive information made for business plans.

All this data could be classified as confidential and you are definitely not comfortable sharing this very data with somebody who shouldn’t have the access at all.

However, when a data breach occurs, it leaks all the information. It could leave you exposed and increase the risk of identity theft.

Businesses are developing modern security plans to ensure data protection.

Proprietary Data: Examples

Proprietary data includes geological data like drill records, property maps, reserve estimates etc.

It also includes biological data like endangered species data, bird-banding which are supplied by private people and corporations.

Sensitive Data: Examples

Sensitive data, as we mentioned, could include personal and other general information as well.

It could also include the energy and mineral resource assessments along with other reports that have significant economic implications and are not meant to be released publically.

Proprietary data and sensitive data: Best practices?

  • Property data shouldn’t be disclosed without specific written permission from the organization that has furnished or has the rights to the information.
  • Environmental information (whenever possible) should be available to everybody. It has a good influence on the environment by increasing awareness or reducing risks of damage in general.
  • Data that are sensitive should also have data for review of the confidentiality status. The date for review might be short or long which depends upon the level of confidentiality.?
  • The users of sensitive data need to respect all kinds of restrictions that the data provider is posing on the data. The privacy and security shouldn’t be compromised at all.
  • Data providers should also respect the needs and privacy of the data users for the sake of documentation to determine if it should be used and ensure the analyses aren’t misleading.
  • When a data provider is asked to provide access to restricted data, they should avoid assuming the continued sensitivity and use the same for revisiting the determination.
  • In a few cases, access to information could pose environmental harm and in such cases, the availability of information needs to be controlled.
  • If the data has to be restricted for distribution, then it should be done to just a copy of the data at the time of distribution. Data shouldn’t be altered from the stored record.


Coming to our main question, is proprietary data sensitive information?

Well, the answer is that it depends on the kind of information. There’s no straight yes or no answer for the same.?

Proprietary data could be of different kinds and could also be considered as sensitive data when the owners or the organization it belongs doesn’t allow it to be out there in the public.

However, this is just one in a few cases. Usually, it isn’t considered as sensitive information, but there’s no denying in the fact that proprietary is given the same preference as data sensitive information at times.?