Data Handling and the PUID

Data Handling and the PUID

The data handling guidelines for sending PUID via email have been revised.  PUID and NAME may be sent together via email between Purdue business units.  Note that PUID is still classified as sensitive University data, and should be handled accordingly.

The Purdue University Identifier (PUID) is a 10-digit number unique to each individual.  The number is printed on a person’s Purdue photo identification card.  The PUID is designed to consistently establish an individual’s identity for University business; replace the Social Security Number (SSN) as the primary University identifier; and have value only within the Purdue University system.

The data owner for the PUID is the Director of the Identity and Access Management Office. As this office has classified PUID as sensitive University data, the PUID should be handled according to Purdue’s data handling guidelines for sensitive data. “Handling” information relates to when data is viewed, updated, or deleted. It also relates to the transfer of data from one location to another. It refers to both the electronic use and storage, and physical (i.e., paper-based) use and storage of the data.

Sensitive data handling requirements include the following: 1

  • Documents containing PUID should be stored out of sight when not in use.
  • Documents containing PUID should be disposed of in a manner such that they are physically destroyed beyond the ability to recover.
  • The electronic storage of PUID on fixed media without access controls, but accessible via the web is not advised. If the data must be stored via this media, it must be encrypted.
  • PUID may be transmitted via email between Purdue business units.
  • When transmitting PUID by fax, the receiving fax machine must have limited access such that only authorized persons can view the received fax. Otherwise, sender must first ensure that an authorized person will be present when the material is received via fax.
  • When transmitting the PUID via wireless or cellular technology, the sender should be aware that wireless and/or cellular technologies are not very secure. Encryption suggested where applicable.
  • When transmitting PUID by other electronic communications mechanisms (i.e., email, FTP, connections to administrative applications, etc.), encryption is suggested.

Additional Resources:

PUID information:

Purdue Calumet Data Classifications:

Purdue Calumet Data Handling Requirements:

Purdue Calumet Information Security Policy Web Site:


1This list is not exhaustive; please see the data handling requirements for additional information.