Box is a commercial online content storage, sharing, and collaboration service that has offered free personal accounts to the public since 2005. Box and Internet2 have partnered to provide university-wide Box service to Internet2 members like the University of Minnesota.

When uploading files, be aware of the University’s data categorization rules and the types of files that are permitted to be stored on Box at UMN. Information concerning kinds of data that can be stored on Box at UMN can be found on When Should I Use Box?.

Protected Health Information (PHI)

Protected Health Information (PHI) is allowed to be stored on the Box at UMN service.  PHI is defined as “any information about health status, provision of health care, or payment for health care that can be linked to a specific individual.”   

PHI is governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 which protects the privacy of individually identifiable health information and sets national standards for the security of electronic protected health information.  At UMN, PHI is in the category of private highly restricted data.  More information about UMN’s three-level data categorization plan which serves to protect data necessary for the University’s operation can be found here.  All users who work with PHI should be familiar with these documents.

UMN can store PHI on Box due to the recent signing of a Business Associate Agreement with the Internet2 NET+ Initiative.  When users store and collaborate with PHI using the Box at UMN service, they should be aware of University rules governing the storage of this type of information on Box.

Although PHI is allowed to be stored on Box, other types of personally identifiable information (PII), such as credit card numbers, are not allowed to be stored on Box. 

In addition to the policies mentioned on this page, it is each user’s responsibility to ensure that storing PHI on Box is in accordance with local rules and the requirements of grants, research partnerships or data sharing agreements.

For questions, please send an e-mail to box@umn.edu.