Data Retention and Deletion

We store research and user data for the purposes of providing access to BEAR services. This page details how long we retain the data and when we remove it.

For all users, information on the status of a user account is provided to BEAR by the University identity systems. Decisions concerning the services an account can access is controlled by that information. BEAR receives updates to this information regularly.

  • An account is considered a leaver when the account is marked as having left the university. This account will be unable to authenticate against BEAR systems and will lose access to BEAR services.
  • An account is considered dormant when the account has not been used to access the relevant BEAR service for a certain number of days.

Data Associated with a User Account

BEAR DataShare

This service has been decommissioned on January 21st 2022, data will be kept in our archive for three years, to allow for researchers to request recovery of data if they were unable to move data off before the service was shut down e.g. being on parental leave, long term sick. Please note that the speed at which data can be restored will be dependent on the workload of the team. If you need to recover data that was stored on BEAR DataShare then please log a ticket via the Service Desk: https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/bear/sd/other-bear-request

BEAR GitLab projects attached to a user account

BEAR GitLab projects that are created within a user's personal area (as opposed to attached to a GitLab group) will be deleted when the account has been a leaver for at least 90 days. This is why we recommend that all research repositories should be created inside a GitLab group and not as personal projects.

BEAR Home Directory

BEAR home directories are deleted once the account has been a leaver for at least 90 days. These home directories are used by BEAR Linux accounts on BlueBEAR and BEAR Cloud or CaStLeS Virtual Machines.

BEAR User Information in the BEAR Identity Database

This will be removed when the user account is no longer attached to any BEAR projects or groups and when the account has not been used to access any BEAR service for at least 180 days.

You can access the identity database on campus, or using the VPN.

Data Associated with a BEAR Project

We strongly recommend that all research data be associated with a BEAR project. There are three ways of doing this:

  1. Research Data Store and CaStLeS storage associated with a BEAR project
  2. Repositories etc. within a GitLab group associated with a BEAR project
  3. In a BEAR Archive, associated with a BEAR project

Data in these places will not be automatically deleted in any scenario. Instead a PI can request that the data be archived or removed. Or in the event that the PI leaves the University we will contact relevant parties to identify a new PI or archive/remove the project. Ideally, a PI would contact us before leaving as it is easier to make such changes at that point.

Data will remain in the BEAR Archive according to the standard retention policies, which apply when the data is placed into the archive, unless otherwise agreed.

Please note that a leaver will no longer be able to access any BEAR projects they were once associated with.

 

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