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

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Birmingham City 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.
Sincerely,

Jen Persson

Freedom of Information Act, Birmingham City University

Dear Jen,

RE: INFORMATION REQUEST DATED 28th NOVEMBER 2018
REF: FOI-00895

Thank you for your request for information. Your request was received on 28th November 2018 and we are dealing with it under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We will respond to the information request within 20 working days (i.e on or before 27th December 2018). If we are unable to respond to the request or if the University does not hold the information or if there is a reason for it to be withheld we will write to you with the reasons why.

If you have any queries or concerns about the process, please do not hesitate to contact us. Otherwise we will write to you on or before 27th December 2018.

Thanks,

Information Management Team
Birmingham City University
Joseph Priestley Building / 3rd Floor
6 Cardigan Street
Birmingham
B4 7BD

T: 0121 300 5288
E: [Birmingham City University request email]

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Freedom of Information Act, Birmingham City University

Dear Jen,

RE: INFORMATION REQUEST DATED 28th NOVEMBER 2018
REF: FOI-00895

Please accept our apologies for the delay to our response for you Freedom of Information Request.

We will get a response sent out in the New Year.

Kind Regards,

Information Management Team
Birmingham City University
Joseph Priestley Building / 3rd Floor
6 Cardigan Street
Birmingham
B4 7BD

T: 0121 300 5288
E: [Birmingham City University request email]

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Freedom of Information Act, Birmingham City University

Dear Jen,

Please accept my sincere apologies for the delay to our response for your Freedom of Information Request - 00895, received 28th November 2018.

We are making the appropriate enquiries across the University and we will get back to you with a response as soon as possible.

Kind Regards,

Information Management Team
Birmingham City University
Joseph Priestley Building / 3rd Floor
6 Cardigan Street
Birmingham
B4 7BD

T: 0121 300 5288
E: [Birmingham City University request email]

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Freedom of Information Act, Birmingham City University

1 Atodiad

Dear Jen,

RE: INFORMATION REQUEST DATED 28th NOVEMBER 2018
REF: FOI – 00895

Further to your request received on 28th November, please see our response attached.

Please accept our sincere apologies for the delay to this response.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Requests for an internal review should be made to the Head of Legal and Compliance at [Birmingham City University request email] or by writing to: Head of Legal and Compliance, Birmingham City University, Joseph Priestley Building, Cardigan Street, B4 7BD.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Please see https://ico.org.uk/concerns/getting/ for details of their procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Thanks,

Information Management Team
Birmingham City University
Joseph Priestley Building / 3rd Floor
6 Cardigan Street
Birmingham
B4 7BD

T: 0121 300 5288
E: [Birmingham City University request email]

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Birmingham City University,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Birmingham City University's handling of my FOI request 'Student and staff data: use of data analytics and machine learning'.

You refuse the information, saying that the information is exempt from disclosure in accordance with the exemption at Section 43(2) (prejudice to commercial interest).

This exemption is a qualified exemption, and requires a prejudice, and Public Interest Test. As far as we can see, these have not been carried out and not provided. Without the details of the test, it is difficult to explore adequately, on which grounds you rely.

It is unclear whether this is a new policy in formulation, undergoing negotiation, or generates income for the University, for example.

It is necessary to carry out and provide a prejudice test, and injury to commercial interests must be "real and significant" and more probable than not to occur. Establishing the appropriate level of likelihood is necessary, before the Public Interest test is performed.

We ask that you take into consideration, ICO guidance, which states that while it is recognised that public authorities will have financial interests in the information that they hold but these will not always be covered by the commercial interest exemption.

There cannot be commercial prejudice for example, in provision of a privacy notice, since it is unlikely the university has commercial interests in its creation, distribution or use, or to know how many staff have access to such data analytics systems.

It was incorrect to apply this exemption in a blanket manner, and certainly without prejudice test, or a Public Interest test.

I therefore ask for a revisit of this request, and for the withheld information to be provided.
Thank you. Sincerely,

Jen Persson

Freedom of Information Act, Birmingham City University

Dear Jen,

RE: INFORMATION REQUEST DATED 28th NOVEMBER 2018
REF: FOI-00895

Thank you for your email (received on 23rd January 2019), advising that you wish to appeal the response that we provided on 10th December 2018.

I am currently liaising with the relevant department with regard to your original request and subsequent appeal request.

I will get back to you in due course.

Thanks,

Information Management Team
Birmingham City University
Joseph Priestley Building / 3rd Floor
6 Cardigan Street
Birmingham
B4 7BD

T: 0121 300 5288
E: [Birmingham City University request email]

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Freedom of Information Act, Birmingham City University

Dear Jen,

We are currently processing your request for Internal Review and aim to have a response with you by 22nd March 2019 at the latest.

Kind Regards,

Information Management Team
Birmingham City University
Joseph Priestley Building / 3rd Floor
6 Cardigan Street
Birmingham
B4 7BD

T: 0121 300 5288
E: [Birmingham City University request email]

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Freedom of Information Act, Birmingham City University

Hi Jen,

Please disregard the date in my last email.

Sorry, it should read the 22nd February.

Apologies for the typo.

Kind Regards,

Information Management Team
Birmingham City University
Joseph Priestley Building / 3rd Floor
6 Cardigan Street
Birmingham
B4 7BD

T: 0121 300 5288
E: [Birmingham City University request email]

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Kate Fazakerley, Birmingham City University

3 Atodiad

Dear Jen,         

 

RE: ORIGINAL INFORMATION REQUEST DATED 28^TH NOVEMBER 2018

INTERNAL REVIEW REQUEST DATED 23^RD JANUARY 2019

REF: FOI – 00895

 

Further to your request for internal review, received on 23^rd January
2019, please see our response attached.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. Please see [1]https://ico.org.uk/concerns/getting/ for details
of their procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

 

Thanks,

 

Kind regards

Kate

 

Kate Fazakerley

Head of Legal & Compliance (Interim)

Legal Services & Compliance

 

Tel.    07753 106357

Email [2][email address]

Web   [3]www.bcu.ac.uk                                              

 

Legal Secretary: Hardeep Kharbanda

[4][email address]

0121 331 7742

 

Birmingham City University

Joseph Priestly Building / 3^rd Floor

6 Cardigan Street

Birmingham

B4 7BD

 

  [5]cid:image001.jpg@01CFBD33.0342B980             [6]Athena Swan

 

References

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