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

The request was partially successful.

Dear Durham 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

ACCESS I., Durham University

Dear Jen

Freedom of Information Request

I acknowledge receipt of your email below requesting information from Durham University.

Please be advised that the University will respond as soon as possible and in any event within 20 working days.

Yours sincerely,

Information Governance Unit
Durham University

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ACCESS I., Durham University

Dear Jen Persson

 

Colleagues have asked me to get in touch with you to request clarification
in relation to your request below.

 

For Question 6 please could you clarify if you are requesting the number
of users that have access to data or the number of users that accesed
data?

 

Your request will be placed on hold until we receive the requested
clarification from you.

 

I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Information Governance Unit

Durham University

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Information Governance Unit, University Secretary’s Office

t: +44 (0) 191 33 46103/46246  e: [1][Durham University request email]

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[FOI #535645 email]

 

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To respond to your request for clarification:

"For Question 6 please could you clarify if you are requesting the number of users that have access to data or the number of users that accessed data?"

The number of users, at the time of writing (November 2018) who had
a) the security access to all students' records at the time of the request.
b) have ever had access (ie if all staff had access to all records in 2016, but in 2018 only 50 staff can access all students' data).

Please provide the best available information, so as not to further delay the response.

Thank you.
Yours sincerely,

Jen Persson

ACCESS I., Durham University

Dear Ms Person

Colleagues have asked me to get in touch with you to request clarification in relation to your request below. Specifically, they would be grateful if you could clarify your meaning of "student records" and also "access".

Your request will be placed on hold until we receive the requested clarification from you. If however we do not receive clarification within 30 days of this email we will consider the request closed.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Information Governance Unit
University Secretary’s Office
The Palatine Centre
Stockton Road
Durham
DH1 3LE
w: https://www.dur.ac.uk/university.secreta...

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE:
This message is intended solely for the addressee(s) in the first instance and may contain confidential information. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender, delete the message from your system immediately and do not disclose the contents to any other party.

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Dear ACCESS I.,
Apologies for the delay in response to your request for further clarifications per our FOI request of November 2018, and your reply of February 14, 2019.

Your clarification request was for us to define student records and acesss:
"For Question 6 please could you clarify if you are requesting the number of users that have access to data or the number of users that accessed data?"

To which we had replied:

The number of users, at the time of writing (November 2018) who had
a) the security access to all students' records at the time of the request.
b) have ever had access (ie if all staff had access to all records in 2016, but in 2018 only 50 staff can access all students' data).

We would be grateful if the request can now be processed, as copied below, with the clarifications that the request is with regards to students' personal data, and access should set out both the number of users, at the time of writing (November 2018) who had the potential to view students' personal data processed in such analytics systems.

Please provide the information to the best of your ability and we will call if we have questions on its return.

Many thanks.
Sincerely,
Jen Persson

============

Dear Durham 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, such as but not only, Blackboard, Xray and Civitas.
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 software for predictive analytics and or profiling, such as used in but not only, Blackboard, Xray and 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 (Data sharing agreement) 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?

7. Any Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) carried out by the university regards such software (as may have been carried out pre-purchase as part of due dilligence and its introducton, for example).

ACCESS I., Durham University

Dear Jen Persson

Freedom of Information Request

I acknowledge receipt of your email below requesting information from Durham University.

Please be advised that the University will respond as soon as possible and in any event within 20 working days.

Yours sincerely,

Information Governance Unit
Durham University

Information Governance Unit, University Secretary’s Office
t: +44 (0) 191 334 6103/46246  e: [Durham University request email]

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE:
This message is intended solely for the addressee(s) in the first instance and may contain confidential information. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender, delete the message from your system immediately and do not disclose the contents to any other party.

show quoted sections

ACCESS I., Durham University

Dear Ms Persson

 

Thank you for your request for information from Durham University. 
Colleagues have provided the information below/attached in response to
your questions.

 

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, such as but not
only, Blackboard, Xray and Civitas.

No.

 

1b) if so, which ones?

N/A.

 

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 software for predictive analytics and or profiling, such as used
in but not only, Blackboard, Xray and Civitas.

No.

 

2b) if so, which ones?

N/A.

 

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 (Data sharing agreement) on using the data by the provider
company including

a) the data items feedling analytics, any profiling, and/or used in
prediction

N/A.

 

b) what the prediction purposes / aims are

N/A.

 

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.

 

7. Any Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) carried out by the
university regards such software (as may have been carried out
pre-purchase as part of due dilligence and its introducton, for example).
[Infill questions]

N/A.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the University’s response to your freedom of
information request, you can ask us to internally review our handling of
your request, including the application of any exemptions applied.  To do
this, please email [1][Durham University request email] or write to:

 

Information Governance Unit

The Palatine Centre

Stockton Road

Durham

DH1 3LE          

 

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Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

[2]www.ico.org.uk

 

Yours sincerely

 

Information Governance Unit

Durham University

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Information Governance Unit, University Secretary’s Office

t: +44 (0) 191 33 46103/46246  e: [3][Durham University request email]

show quoted sections

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:

[6][FOI #535645 email]

 

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:

[7]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

 

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:

[8]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...

 

Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.

 

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

 

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Durham University request email]
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/
3. mailto:[Durham University request email]
4. mailto:[FOI #535645 email]
5. https://www.dur.ac.uk/university.secreta...
6. mailto:[FOI #535645 email]
7. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...
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