I've been reading this article about Data Handling Security Measures, what's the difference between confidential, protected, and restricted data? Maybe I could understand it well with example of the data itself.

2 Answers 2


Nevermind, those terms are depends on the data classification stated by the company (in this case NYU). Different company has different data classification so the term maybe should not be generalized.


There is no one size fits all rule for data classification, every organization should make their own classification. A medical records company would have completely different requirements than a industrial design company. The medical records company would need to protect personal data, and a breach would lead to reputational loss. An industrial design company would want to protect their trade secrets, and a breach would lead to financial loss through competition. Each would want to write their policies to protect themselves in their own unique situation dependent on several factors including:

  • Industry
  • Regulations and laws
  • The types of data the organization handles
  • The types of losses that can be incurred from data leakage

A data classification policy may be kept separate from other policies, in fact it is linked to in the page you supplied with your question.

You can see from the definitions that NYU classifies personal data higher than intellectual property, most likely because a breach of PII or health records would create the biggest media splash.

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