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

Jen Persson made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to University of Sheffield 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.

University of Sheffield Nid oedd gan y wybodaeth y gofynnwyd amdani.

Dear University of Sheffield,

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

Anne E Cutler, University of Sheffield

Dear Ms Persson
I write in response to your recent Freedom of Information request to
Sheffield University:
1a). Whether you are using any data analytics software at all:
No
1b) if so, which ones?
Not applicable
1c) what date this data analytics processing began?
N/A
1d) indicate whether in the past and ended, or still in current use
N/A
2a). Any predictive analytics software such as used in but not only,
Blackboard, Xray and JISC supported Civitas.
No.
2b) if so, which ones?
2c) what date this analytics processing began for predictive purposes?
N/A
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.
N/A
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)
N/A
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)?
N/A 
6. How many people/user accounts have access to the whole population
student data in any of the above in this calendar year?
N/A

I am required under the Act to inform you that if you have cause for
genuine complaint regarding our reply to your request for information, you
should within 60 days of receiving this response, write to the University
FOI Unit, The University Secretary’s Office, Sheffield University, Western
Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN or email [University of Sheffield request email] explaining why you
are not satisfied with the result.

If you still remain unsatisfied with the University's decision, you will
be entitled to complain to the Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Anne Cutler

The University Secretary’s Office

University of Sheffield

Western Bank

Sheffield

S10 2TN

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