Importer: What are Sensitive Fields and How Do I Change Them?

Liz Gehret -

Sensitive fields are identifying fields in a student file (manually uploaded to the Importer or received in an automatic student sync).  The following are currently considered sensitive fields:

  • username
  • auth_identifier

**As of 10/3/18

  • email_address and card_id are no longer considered sensitive fields in data imports!
  • AWS/Automated upload will automatically update emails if <10% of total rows have email address changes.  If >10%, no emails will be updated during that sync.
    1. ex: 1000 rows in your AWS upload/sync file, 100 rows have new emails: No emails will be updated during that import. (If only 99 rows have new emails, these will update!)
  • auth_identifier and username can no longer be changed via automatic/AWS syncs

If your AWS upload/automatic sync has enough email_address updates to exceed the 10% limit, or you've changed username or auth_identifier for any students, instead of processing these individual rows successfully and updating the email_address/auth_identifier/username in Handshake, these specific rows will be "failed" on your importer job and you will have to process this change by downloading these failures and manually uploading a file with 'This job changes identifier data' selected (Please see below for manual steps!).

**As of 10/3/18: You will no longer need to opt-in to update email_address or card_id via automatic syncs (username and auth_identifier can no longer be updated via automatic syncs, and require manual import as seen below)!


Identifying Sensitive Fields Errors on the Importer

In order to identify the rows in your student file upload that failed because of a sensitive field, follow these steps:

1. Go to your job on the importer. Click "View/Download Results" in the top right hand corner.

2. Click "Download Failed Rows CSV":

3. Scroll to the far right column on the download spreadsheet, you will see two additional columns, with the error message for the sensitive fields error in the last column.

I've received an error "attempted to change sensitive fields" - What do I do?

  • This occurs when any change is made to auth identifier or username
  • Review the user/s that failed, determine if any sensitive field has been updated since the last sync
  • Was this an intended change?
    • If yes, see 'How-To Change Sensitive Fields'
    • Otherwise, confirm that the values being sent through to Handshake are accurate
  • If this change was not intended, these users do *not* have duplicate accounts (e.g. with a personal email), and there are no duplications being sent in the user file, please contact us to assist with the issue.

How do I know if there are duplicate sensitive fields in my file?

  • When uploading to the Importer, you'll receive feedback from the analyzers indicating any duplicate sensitive field values found
  • Use a personal program (such as Excel or Numbers) to compare possible duplicate records

How do I know if this sensitive field is associated to another account within Handshake?

  • These fields should be unique to each user at your school. 
    • If these fields are not unique to the student, please contact your Handshake Relationship Manager immediately to go over alternatives for handling this situation
  • If sensitive field is associated ("already taken") to another account, this is generally due to the user having multiple Handshake accounts
    • The undesired account is then archived
    • e.g. User signed up with personal email address but associated their school username and auth_identifier to their account
    • When school attempts to sync this user with their school email, username, auth_id, that user will fail due to this information being associated with another account
    • This generally requires a deconfliction that happens at the Student and School level (to determine which account they want to retain)

How do I change sensitive fields manually?

1. Re-upload the failed rows spreadsheet that you downloaded from the original job. Prior to upload, delete the last two columns: "status" and "response".

2. When uploading the file to the Importer, make sure that the field for "This job changes identifier data" is selected, as shown below:







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