Nid ydym yn gwybod a yw'r ymateb mwyaf diweddar i'r cais hwn yn cynnwys gwybodaeth neuai peidio - os chi ywJen Persson mewngofnodwch a gadael i bawb wybod.

Higher Education data: social media monitoring

We're waiting for Jen Persson to read a recent response and update the status.

Dear De Montfort University,

FOI request re: Student social media monitoring

Please provide the following information under the FOI Act 2000, regards processing of students' social media accounts, whether routinely or based on an individual need case -- for example but not exclusively, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, WhatsApp, Tumblr, Pinterest, Flickr and Medium-- by or on behalf of the University in a formal, systemic or other recognised process for investigations including for University PR or management of reputational risk purposes. (This excludes for example, one Academic looking at one student's posts for personal reasons.) Relevant time period: since January 2016.

1. Provide a copy of your University policy for your administrators or equivalent, on the monitoring or use of social media in investigations, for the purposes of the Prevent programme, including for reputational management. (please confirm if you do not have one, and which do apply)

2. Does your University either conduct overt (ie students are informed) and/or covert (students are not explicitly informed at the time of the surveillance) social media intelligence gathering?

a. If yes (2), please specify whether this includes profiling individuals, conducting investigations, monitoring individuals, monitoring groups, monitoring locations, gathering intelligence, for recruitment purposes, or purposes of reputational risk, or state what it is if other.

b. If your University does conduct social media intelligence/monitoring, please specify which social media may be in scope.

c. Does your University conduct social media monitoring exclusively for the purposes of the Prevent programme?

d. If yes, to c. if the University has conducted covert social media monitoring, for the purposes of the Prevent programme, please confirm the number of any warrants obtained in the last two years for this purpose, or police or Home Office requests to do so, if any or none.

3. If you conduct social media intelligence relating to social media platforms, please provide a copy of:

a. Relevant [sections of the] privacy policy;
b. the data protection impact assessment;
c. privacy impact assessment;
d. equality and human rights impact assessment
e. training materials for those conducting social media surveillance

Please state if you do not have any of the above.

4. Please confirm whether or not your University uses software and/or hardware to conduct social network / social media monitoring and/or in relation to sentiment analysis on social media.

a. If yes, please state the name of the company / provider.

b. If no, please state whether the University has developed internal methods to conduct automated analysis of social media / social network monitoring.

5. Please confirm, if not stated already in the above, the policy on deletion of data obtained from social networking sites.

6. If not already set out in the guidance documents above, please explain:

a. In what areas of the University’s work social media monitoring is used (ie finance department)
b. What criteria must be satisfied in order for social media monitoring to be carried out
c. Who must authorise the request to conduct social media monitoring
d. What is the process for conducting social media monitoring
e. How long is data collected and retained?
f. Is there any process for requesting deletion by the subject (person whose social media is surveilled)?

7. Please state how regularly social media monitoring is used, on what volume of individuals (ie targeted for individual situations or every students on the network) Please provide the figures as available, preferably in excel, and by month or on the available basis you have, since January 2016.

8. Please provide the organisational name of any third party or authority to whom such information gathered has been passed on, and which information types (e.g. name, report of X) in the time period since the University has undertaken such monitoring. (For example but not only: Since January 2016 -- X number of referals to Student disciplinary boards, X to internal student loans administration, X to external student loan administration (Student Loans Company or other), HESA, the OfS, Other universities, Police, the Home Office.) etc.

9. If the university does monitor students' social media, please cofirm if the same policy has continued and been applied since March 23, 2020 (lockdown) in the COVID-19 crisis?

Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,

Jen Persson

Freedom Of Information, De Montfort University

Dear Jen,

During the unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, while De Montfort University will make every effort to comply with the timescales of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the General Data Protection Regulation, and the Data Protection Act 2018, it may be necessary to temporarily divert resources to support the welfare and safety of staff and students, and away from the University’s compliance and information rights work, and this may impact our response times.

We apologise for any impact this may have, but this is a challenge many organisations will face at the moment and one the Information Commissioner’s Office have recognised. The Information Commissioner’s Office have advised:

We can’t extend statutory timescales, but we will tell people through our own communications channels that they may experience understandable delays when making information rights requests during the pandemic.

The Information Commissioner’s Office have provided additional information here

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000
Thank you for your email request below.

Your request is being considered and if the information is held you will receive the information requested within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Freedom of Information Act 2000, subject to the information not being exempt.

If the time taken to meet your request is likely to exceed 18 hours, we will contact you and ask you amend your request to bring it below this time limit. We will assist you with suggestions of how this might be achieved.

I may also contact you if the request needs to be clarified; this is to ensure that we provide you with the information you require.
Please note that some information you have requested may not be provided to you; this will only be information that can be withheld by law. In most cases the reasons will be explained to you along with your copy of any information that can be released to you.

In order to ensure a prompt response to any communication, please ensure that any further emails are copied to [De Montfort University request email].
Yours sincerely,

Paul Starkey

Information Governance Manager

Governance and Legal

DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY

Trinity House

The Gateway
Leicester
LE1 9BH
T: +44 (0)116 2577655
E: [email address]
W: dmu.ac.uk

Responsible for: Freedom of Information, Data Protection Act compliance and Records Management

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Freedom Of Information, De Montfort University

Dear Jen,

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000-INFORMATION REQUEST

During the unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, while De Montfort University is making every effort to comply with the timescales of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the General Data Protection Regulation, and the Data Protection Act 2018, it has been necessary to temporarily divert resources to support the welfare and safety of staff and students, and away from the University’s compliance and information rights work, and this has impacted our response times.

We apologise for any impact this may have, but this is a challenge many organisations will face at the moment and one the Information Commissioner’s Office have recognised. The Information Commissioner’s Office have advised:

We can’t extend statutory timescales, but we will tell people through our own communications channels that they may experience understandable delays when making information rights requests during the pandemic.

The Information Commissioner’s Office have provided additional information here

Your request for information has been considered under the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our response is as follows:

In regard to your request De Montfort University neither confirms nor denies that it holds any of the information requested under the following exemptions as defined in the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000:

• Section 24 – National security, and
• Section 31 - Law enforcement.

For these exemptions the duty to confirm or deny whether the University holds such information does not arise as the conditions set out in the following sections of the FOI Act 2000 apply:

• Section 24(2). The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that, compliance with section 1(1)(a) is required for the purpose of safeguarding national security.
• Section 31(3). The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that, compliance with section 1(1)(a) would, or would be likely to, prejudice any of the matters mentioned in subsection (1). Specifically, the prevention or detection of crime.

As Sections 24 and 31 are prejudice based exemptions there is a requirement to articulate the harm or prejudice that would be caused in confirming or not that the information is held.

If the University were to confirm or deny that it held the information requested, this information in itself could potentially compromise national security and the prevention or detection of crime.

if we were to advise that we held information in relation to this request, that implies we undertake such monitoring, which might persuade those engaged in illegal acts, or in acts aiming to radicalise individuals, to alter their approaches in order to evade detection, which would have a clear detriment to the Prevent programme by driving such activities underground.

Alternatively, if we advise that we do not hold information in relation to this request, this would indicate we do not undertake such monitoring. This has the potential to mark DMU as a potential soft target for those intent on illegal acts or radicalisation.

Since there is potential detriment either way, the safest course of action is to Neither Confirm Nor Deny whether such information is even held.

Whilst the entire request isn't Prevent specific, it's clear that providing a partial response would clearly give an indication as to whether we used such monitoring for Prevent or not, so the best response is a consistent approach covering all aspects covered by this request.

When relying on qualified exemptions, public authorities must consider whether the public interest in disclosing the information is sufficient to outweigh the concerns about the prejudicial impact of the disclosure.

The University recognises the general interest in the Prevent program and in the monitoring of social media, and reassurance that these strategies have been implemented in a fair and effective manner. On the other hand, the confirmation or denial that such information is held by DMU clearly has the potential to prejudice the aims of the Prevent strategy in ensuring National Security and preventing or detecting criminal acts.

The University’s view, therefore, is that the public interest is best served by application of the Freedom of Information Act exemptions at Sections 24 and 31, and for the University to neither confirm nor deny that it holds the information relating to this request, since either confirmation or denial could prejudice national security and/or the prevention or detection of crime. It should not be inferred from this refusal that the information you have requested does or does not exist.

If you have any queries please get in touch with me to discuss them. You might like to know that the University’s website www.dmu.ac.uk contains a section on the Freedom of Information Act that lists other publications readily available from the University under its Publication Scheme.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Starkey

Information Governance Manager

Governance and Legal

DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY

Trinity House

The Gateway
Leicester
LE1 9BH
T: +44 (0)116 2577655
E: [email address]
W: dmu.ac.uk

Responsible for: Freedom of Information, Data Protection Act compliance and Records Management

You have the right to complain to the University about this decision. If you wish to do this please write to:

Regulations and Complaints Manager
Corporate Services
0.13 Trinity House
Leicester
Telephone (0116) 257 7694

If you are subsequently not satisfied with the University’s response to your complaint you have a right of appeal to the independent Information Commissioner.

The Information Commissioner’s Offices are currently closed, and therefore unable to receive correspondence via post. Please contact the Information Commissioner’s Office through their contact page

Most of the information we provide in response to Freedom of Information Act 2000 request will be subject to copyright protection. In most cases the copyright will be owned by De Montfort University. The copyright in other information may be owned by another person or organization as indicated in the information itself.

You are free to use any information supplied for your own use, including for non-commercial research purposes. The information may also be used for the purposes of news reporting. However, any other type of re-use, for example, publishing the information or issuing copies to the public will require the permission of the copyright holder.

For information where the copyright is owned by the De Montfort University, details of the conditions of re-use can be found on our website at www.dmu.ac.uk.

For information where the copyright is owned by another person or organization, you must apply to the copyright holder to obtain their permission.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Nid ydym yn gwybod a yw'r ymateb mwyaf diweddar i'r cais hwn yn cynnwys gwybodaeth neuai peidio - os chi ywJen Persson mewngofnodwch a gadael i bawb wybod.