Higher Education data: social media monitoring

Jen Persson made this Freedom of Information request to Bournemouth University as part of a batch sent to 124 authorities

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

The request was partially successful.

Dear Bournemouth 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, Bournemouth University

Thank you for your enquiry.

 

We (Bournemouth University Higher Education Corporation) will use the
personal information you provide for several purposes.  These are: to
handle the request, including any follow-up on your part or for the
Information Commissioner; to oversee and adjust our handling procedures;
and for statistical purposes.  Please see our General Enquiries & Public
Events privacy notice for more information:

 

[1]https://www1.bournemouth.ac.uk/about/gov...

 

Requests made under the Data Protection Legislation for information we
hold about you (Subject Access Requests) will receive a response within a
month following receipt by us of sufficient proof of your identity, and
sufficient information for us to locate the information requested.

 

Freedom of Information Act 2000 requests will receive a response (or
request for clarification) within 20 working days.

 

If your request is for information about programmes provided by
Bournemouth University, please consult our courses database at:
[2]https://www1.bournemouth.ac.uk/search?ty... .

 

Full information about access to information at Bournemouth University,
including our Publication Scheme, can be obtained at:
[3]www.bournemouth.ac.uk/foi .

 

 

Kind regards

 

Information Office

Legal Services

Bournemouth University M209,

Melbury House 1-3 Oxford Road Bournemouth

BH8 3ES

Tel: +44 (0) 1202 961315

Email: [4][email address] / [5][email address]

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Freedom Of Information, Bournemouth University

Dear Jen

We write further to your email of 2 June 2020.

Your request has been processed by us in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

Please find set out below our response:

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)
N/A - we do not monitor individual social media accounts for the purposes of Prevent.

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?
No

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. N/A

c. Does your University conduct social media monitoring exclusively for the purposes of the Prevent programme? We do not monitor individual social media accounts for the purposes of Prevent.

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. N/A

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.
No

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

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

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

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)? N/A

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.
N/A

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. N/A

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? N/A

If you have any questions or are dissatisfied with this response, you should contact us at [email address]. The University's Chief Operating Officer or his nominated alternate will review any appeal and may amend the University's current decision. Thereafter, you may refer your request to the Information Commissioner in accordance with section 50 of the FOIA.

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
SK9 5AF

Telephone: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745

Website: www.ico.org.uk

There is no charge for making an appeal.

Yours sincerely

Information Office
Legal Services
Bournemouth University
Melbury House
1-3 Oxford Road
Bournemouth
DORSET BH8 8ES

Email: [email address]
Tel: 01202 961315

https://www1.bournemouth.ac.uk/about/gov...

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