Student and staff data: use of data analytics and machine learning

Jen Persson made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to University of East Anglia as part of a batch sent to 60 authorities

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear University of East Anglia,

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.

Jen Persson

Freedom of Information, University of East Anglia

10 Atodiad

Dear Jen Persson

Freedom of Information Act 2000 – information request acknowledgement (UEA ref:

Thank you for your request for information received on 28 November 2018.
Your request is being considered and you will receive our response within
the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the [1]Freedom of
Information Act 2000.

For your information, the Act includes a number of exemptions which may
prevent release of some or all of the information you have requested. If
we withhold any information we will provide a full explanation of the
exemption(s) applied, and include information on your right of appeal.

If the information you request contains reference to a third party then
they may be consulted prior to a decision being taken on whether or not to
release the information under the Act.

If the requested information held by the University consists of, or forms
part of a [2]dataset, the University will, so far as reasonably
practicable, provide that information in a reusable electronic format,
based on open standards  -e.g. a Comma Separated Value (CSV) file - and
subject to an approved licence governing future use of the information.

If you require information (dataset or otherwise) to be provided in an
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let us know.

If you have any queries or concerns then please contact us at
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the Act is also available from the Information Commissioner’s Office at: 
[4], telephone: 0303 123 1113.

Attached to this email please also find a Privacy Notice informing you of
how we will be handling your personal data we hold in connection with this

Please quote our reference given at the top of this email in all

Kind regards,

Dave Palmer (on behalf of Kirsty McDonald)


dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Freedom of Information, University of East Anglia

10 Atodiad

Dear Jen Persson.

Please find attached a response to your request received on 28 November
2018 under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to
contact us.

We would like to know if our handling of your FOI request has met your
expectations. To help us improve our service please complete our short
[1]online form.  

Kind regards,



Kirsty McDonald

Information Compliance Assistant,

Information Compliance,

Room 1.26, The Library,

University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, NR4 7TJ

Tel: 01603 593651  Fax 01603 591010




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