Data collection

This guide is an overview of tools available at NTNU for collection of data, focused on collection of personal data, sound and video recordings. The overview will help you make correct choices for managing data in your project.

This data collection guide is an updated overview, showing the digital tools for data collection that are approved by NTNU, for what purposes these can be used, and information on how to start using them. Additionally, this data collection guide and the storage guide have information that is relevant for setting up a data management plan for your project.

Norsk versjon: Datainnsamling

Information security and classification

The NTNU guidelines state that information must be classified in order to determine the value and identify the need for security and protection. As the one collecting and managing data, you are responsible for being familiar with or evaluating the level of information security of the data.

Read more about:

What is personal data? #

Personal data is information and assessments that can be related to individual persons, either directly or indirectly. Specific guidelines apply for processing of special categories of personal data and health data (often called sensitive data). Read more about the guidelines at NTNU here (Norwegian).

How to collect sound and image digitally #

To ensure that you collect data in a safe and responsible way, we recommend that you follow the steps described below.

Step 1 – Assess level of information security and approvals #

When you collect and process personal data several things must be in place before you can start the collection. All the following bullet points must be addressed before the collection starts!

  • Reuse: Do I really need to collect new data, or could I reuse existing data collected by someone else? Read more about searching for data.
  • Data minimation: What data do I actually need to conduct the project? Do I need to make recordings? Remember the principle of data minimation. Read more (Norwegian).
  • Classification: You have to be confident whether the data you are collecting are public, internal or confidential data.
    NB! If you consider that you might be processing highly confidential data, this should not be done digitally without a special review. Contact Digital Security (NTNU SOC) for further guidance.
  • Notification: Should NSD be notified about the project? Most likely: Yes. Read more about how to do this here.
  • Notification about changes: For projects where NSD already has been notified, but the data collection method will be changed, you should notify NSD about the alterations. Use the message dialogue in the existing project on the NSD web page.

Step 2 – Choice of tools for collecting personal data #

Students and employees have access to different tools, and you should follow the recommendations below to choose the appropriate tool for you projects and method of collecting data. 

The NTNU recommendation is that you should not use tools that are not found in the tables below. Tools like Facetime, Google hangout, Skype (private), Messenger, Snapchat or similar must not be used to collect data in affiliation with NTNU. NTNU does not have a data processor agreement with Google, and this means that researchers and students at NTNU can not use software and tools from Google when collecting personal data.

Updated information (Last updated 08.06.2020)

  • Sound recordings for students and employees: You can conduct an interview by telephone and record the conversation. You must use an external recorder/dictaphone, and the file has to be encrypted and transferred to secure storage for further processing.
  • Video recordings for students and employees: At the moment NTNU does not offer any digital tools that fulfil the requirements for information security when recording videos that contains confidential information. Digital security is currently reviewing which tools and procedures can be used and these will be announced when ready. 
  • Nettskjema-dictaphone: NTNU can use the Nettskjema-dictaphone to collect confidential data. The service has had some technical issues, and there is a risk of data getting lost (last updated 08.06.2020). UiO expects that the techcnical issues will be solved soon. NTNU monitors the the situation, and will include the servive in our guides when the error has been found. Read more about Nettskjema-dictaphone 

See the comments below the tables for additional information.

Student – interview WITHOUT recording of sound/video #

Information classification:PublicInternalConfidentialHighly Confidential
Blackboard Collaborate OKOKOKNO
Skype for BusinessOKOKOKNO

Student – interview WITH recording of sound/video #

Information classification:PublicInternalConfidentialHighly Confidential
Teams OK (1)OK (1)NONO
Blackboard Collaborate  NONONONO
Skype for BusinessNONONONO
ZoomOK (1)OK (1)NONO

If you are recording sound or video that includes confidential information, see additional comments under "Updated information".

Employee – interview WITHOUT recording of sound/video #

Information classification:PublicInternalConfidentialHighly Confidential
Blackboard Collaborate  OKOKOKNO
Skype for BusinessOKOKOKNO

Employee – interview WITH recording of sound/video #

Information classification:PublicInternalConfidentialHighly Confidential
Teams  OK (1)OK (1)NONO
Blackboard Collaborate  NONONONO
Skype for BusinessOK (1)OK (1)NONO
ZoomOK (1)OK (1)NONO

If you are recording sound or video that includes confidential information, see additional comments under "Updated information".

Additional comments #

(1) You can use the integrated record function, but you have to make sure that the recorded file is stored and processed according to the relevant guidelines.

Step 3 – Protect and transfer data to storage location for further use #

After you have collected your data, you have to make sure that you store and protect them. You can use the Storage guide to fins the correct storage solution for your data. Remember:

  • Can you collect data directly to the storage location you are using? If data has to be transferred from one storage location to another, this has to be done in a safe and secure manner. Confidential data must be encrypted prior to transfer. Read more about encryption.
  • Delete copies of collected data. If you use the storage solutions provided by NTNU, these in general have automatic backup, and you do not need to make your own copies. The Storage guide has updated information about backup services.

Step 4 – Completing the processing of personal data #

When you are done with the processing, personal data (i.e., data that could identify a specific person) should as a rule be deleted. Anonymized data should be archived or published, and there are separate guidelines for how this is done. See Research Data Repository wiki for more information.

Which physical data collection tools can I use? #

Physical data collection tools refer to separate physical units for collecting information like sound, video, photos and text. The data collection guide currently emphasizes collection of direct and indirect personal data, but will eventually include other types of data. Data collection includes the temporary storage of collected data (e.g., memory card). 

Information classification:PublicInternalConfidentialHighly Confidential
Sound recorder/dictaphoneOKOKOKNO (1)
Private mobile phoneOK (2)OK (2)OK (2)NO
NTNU mobile phoneOKOKOK (3)NO

(1) Information classification level has not been assessed.

(2) Interview without recording of sound/video.

(3) For employees with an NTNU mobile phone ("tjenestetelefon"). The phone must be set ut in a secure manner, in accordance with the standards at NTNU (6 digit password and encryption).

Survey tools #

NTNU has a wiki with information about survey tools for different types of data collection. Read more (in Norwegian).

See also #

Contact #

Contact if you have questions regarding the data collection guide or suggestions for how the guide could be further improved.

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