Student and staff data: use of data analytics and machine learning
Dear Manchester Metropolitan University,
I am making a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).
Please can you provide information pertaining to any data analytics software used by the university using personal data about your students and staff, since 2012.
1a). Whether you are using any data analytics software at all:
1b) if so, which ones?
1c) what date this data analytics processing began?
1d) indicate whether in the past and ended, or still in current use
2a). Any predictive analytics software such as used in but not only, Blackboard, Xray and JISC supported Civitas.
2b) if so, which ones?
2c) what date this analytics processing began for predictive purposes?
3. If the answer to Q1a or Q2a is yes, please provide a copy of any contract terms on using the data by the provider company including
a) the data items feedling analytics, any profiling, and/or used in prediction
b) what the prediction purposes / aims are
c) training the software (such as AI and machine learning) by the provider using the data provided via your organisation.
4. Whether the University is using its own student or staff population data for machine learning for purposes not included in 1-3 above? (ie but not only, within the university computing department for any project or with another third-party)
5. From which time periods were the student or staff data collected which are processed in any of the above (ie not only, retrospective student data from the last ten years / only current intake which began in autumn term 2018)?
6. How many people/user accounts have access to the whole population student data in any of the above in this calendar year?
Thank you for your consideration.
Thank you for your email.
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[Manchester Metropolitan University request email]
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Dear Ms Persson
Please find below our response to your request for information:
- the University does not use machine learning or AI to process University staff and student data on any centralised or systematic data;
- some academics may use such methods on a small scale/ad hoc basis as part of their research, but this isn’t currently recorded or reported centrally.
Michelle Gretton | Information Governance Officer
Legal Services | Manchester Metropolitan University
Email: [Manchester Metropolitan University request email]
All Saints Building | Oxford Road | Manchester | M15 6BH | United Kingdom | mmu.ac.uk
If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of this decision, you should write to the Director of Legal Services, All Saints Building, Manchester, M15 6BH, or at [email address]. If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by the Legal Department. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.
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