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Future of Data Protection Forum

Some very interesting and positive messages came out of this week’s Future of Data Protection Forum. Interestingly the forum didn’t just focus on the draft European Regulation: partly because the final state of that is still unclear, but also because there was general agreement that reputable organisations shouldn’t aim merely to comply with data protection […]

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Presentations

Big Data: Wrongs and Rights

Last week I gave a seminar “Big Data Wrongs and Rights” at Southampton University on how data protection law could provide support and guidance for universities’ use of learning analytics. The next day Jisc launched a Code of Practice on Learning Analytics, which puts many of the same ideas into practical form. After the seminar […]

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Learning Analytics: OECD and EU

A recent conference on student data included perspectives on learning analytics from the OECD and the European Commission. Stephan Vincent-Lancrin (OECD) looked at how improving our use of student data could improve the quality of education provided. He noted that a considerable volume and variety of data about education is already generated within universities, and […]

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Guidelines for Using Student Data

During a recent conversation about learning analytics it occurred to me that it might be helpful to analyse how universities use student data in terms of the different justifications provided by UK and European Data Protection Law. Although the ‘big data’ techniques used in learning analytics are sometimes said to be challenging for both law […]

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Consent and the Role of the Regulator

Reading yet another paper on privacy and big data that concluded that processing should be based on the individual’s consent, it occurred to me how much that approach limits the scope and powers of privacy regulators. When using consent to justify processing, pretty much the only question for regulators is whether the consent was fairly […]

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Making Best Use of Big Data

A thought-provoking talk at the TERENA Networking Conference by Barry Smyth of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics suggested both the possibilities and the problems of big data, and some of the decisions that society needs to make soon about how we do, and do not, use it to maximise benefits and minimise harms. A […]