UMB Rule on Public Records Containing Sociological Information


This Rule on Public Records Containing Sociological Information defines Sociological Information that the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) shall exclude from inspection and disclosure as part of a public record under Maryland’s Public Information Act.


Maryland’s Public Information Act grants the public a broad right of access to government records. The General Provisions Article, §4-330. - Sociological information, of the Annotated Code of Maryland, provides, “If the official custodian has adopted rules or regulations that define sociological information for purposes of this section, a custodian shall deny inspection of the part of a public record that contains sociological information, in accordance with the rules or regulations. 

In accordance with the statute, UMB adopts this Rule to define records in UMB custody that contain individually identifiable Sociological Information under the Maryland Public Information Act. UMB shall deny public inspection under the Maryland’s Public Information Act of records containing Sociological Information.

The exclusion of Sociological Information from public disclosure will preserve the privacy of individual personal information and combat identity theft victimization of individuals. The UMB Rule on Public Records Containing Sociological Information applies in addition to the other provisions of the Maryland Public Information Act and all other applicable law, policy, restrictions and exceptions that require or permit UMB to withhold information contained in UMB public records.


Under the Maryland Public Information Act, the University shall deny access to, or inspection of, a public record, or portion thereof, containing individually identifiable Sociological Information.

In accordance with the Maryland Public Information Act, UMB adopts the following definition of individually identifiable Sociological Information:

  1. Scholarship, stipend and financial aid records of individuals or their families;
  2. Records about an individual's personal history, age, family, race, national origin, creed, color, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, ethnic background, ancestry, physiology, religion, academic achievement, attendance in classes or employment, gender identity or expression, genetic information, veteran status, or physical or mental ability;
  3. Family history; identity of relatives, emergency contacts or representatives;
  4. Medical or psychiatric status, condition or history
  5. Background check information;
  6. Social security number;
  7. Date of birth;
  8. Credit card and other banking information;
  9. Personal addresses, personal phone numbers, personal electronic mail address and personal social media account information;
  10. Information regarding marital status, domestic partnership, dependents, or relatives, to include related employment benefits elections;
  11. Information regarding employment status, including, but not limited to, disciplinary records and records related to an application for employment; job evaluation, seniority rating, merit rating; appointment, promotion, tenure action; demotion, transfer, layoff, termination; training and professional development.
  12. Applicant information for admission, scholarships, employment or awards, including those of applicants who were either not selected/admitted or chose not to matriculate;
  13. Class or employment attendance information;
  14. Military service;
  15. Driver’s license number;
  16. State residency classification;
  17. Immigration status, passport and visa numbers;
  18. Religious preference, membership and attendance;
  19. Personal relationships, beliefs and values;
  20. Any information obtained through employment coaching or surveys;
  21. Health insurance and other benefit program information
  22. Financial information, including income (excluding state salary), assets, and liabilities;
  23. Donation and donor information, such as gift agreements, communications, contact information, for individuals who have made charitable donations of goods, services, money or anything else to the University;
  24. Student education records of a deceased student;
  25. Program participation and community experiences and activities;
  26. Records not related to the transaction of State business.
  27. Records which contain political opinions, philosophical beliefs, and club/union membership;
  28. Unique biometric data biometric information including an individual’s physiological, biological, or behavioral characteristics, including an individual’s deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), that can be used, singly or in combination with each other or with other identifying data, to establish individual identity;
  29. Internet or other electronic network activity information, including browsing history, search history, wireless network location data and information regarding an individual’s interaction with an internet website or application; and
  30. Institutional identification number assigned to each applicant, student or employee (e.g. Employee ID, UID number) and photograph.


Related Policies:

VI-5.00 USM Policy on Inspection of Public Records

VI-5.00(A) UMB Policy on Inspection of Public Records