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The right to privacy is a fundamental human right that has never been more important in a digital world. This site is designed to act as a go to reference for UEL data protection issues and is available to everyone.

The law around data protection is changing. The General Data Protection Regulation will apply in the UK from 25th May 2018 in the form of a new Data Protection Act.

The new law is designed to improve transparency, accountability and the effective use of your personal data. In order to comply with new rules, all organisations need to do some things differently in the way they collect, use and manage personal data as part of their operations.

Use the links throughout this site to explore data protection at UEL in more detail and if you have any queries you can contact us or visit the Information Commissioners Office Website.

Data Protection Basics

The Data Protection Act 2018 (the Act) regulates how organisations use the personal data of living people. The Act sets out the requirements for businesses handling personal data and gives individuals rights about how it is managed. The requirements of the Act apply equally to all personal data whether it is held in electronic or physical form.
Everyone that uses the personal data of someone else, has a duty of care under the Data Protection Act to treat personal data appropriately. Good questions to ask yourself are:

  • Am I treating someone else's personal data in the way that I would want mine to be treated?
  • Would someone be surprised to learn that I hold their personal data and the purpose for which I am processing it?

Click on the links below to find out more about personal and special category data.

What is personal data?
What is special category data?

Data Protection Framework

In the digital world, it can be difficult to know where your data is, who has access to it, why they need it and what your rights are. To address these issues, and to improve how we manage the data that we have been given by you UEL is in the process of implementing a Data Protection Framework to centralise all of our practices around data protection and the use of your personal data.

The framework is based on the requirements of a BS10012:2017 which is a quality standard that sets requirements on how we collect, store, use, share and dispose of personal data as well as how we react in the event of a personal data breach. The benefits of adopting a framework approach are that:

  • It helps UEL embed accountability into is practices.
  • It promotes education and awareness about data protection issues
  • It allows us to understand and react to privacy risks and
  • It gives you more control over how we use your data

Data Protection Policy

UEL’s Data Protection Policy sets out how we collect, manage, store and dispose of your personal data. It also sets out your information rights and the responsibilities of our staff, students and visitors. You can access a copy of our Data Protection Policy.

Fair Processing Notices

Fair processing notices provide you with information about what an organisation is going to do with your personal data to allow you to decide for yourself if you are happy to give your data to them. UEL has a range of Fair Processing Notices for different situations: click on the links below for the fair processing notice relevant to you. These notices may change from time to time as we evolve how we use your data. If you have any queries you can always contact us.

Who we are

  • UEL and UELPS act as the Data Controller for the purpose of the Data Protection Act (2018).
  • We will make decisions about what personal data we collect from you and how we use it fairly, lawfully and in a transparent manner.
  • Our Data Protection Officer can be contacted on dpo@uel.ac.uk.

What we collect from you

  • We collect and process your personal and special category data including:
    • Name address and contact details for getting in touch with you.
    • Financial details for payroll and pension purposes.
    • Sensitive data including your ethnicity, declared disabilities and health information for equality monitoring, and our legal obligations.
    • Data relating to your role including data used for performance assessment.
    • Data relating to any personal devices that you connect to our network.

Lawful basis

  • All processing of personal data needs a lawful basis.
  • As your employer, our principal lawful basis is the fact there is a contract between you and us for us to provide you with employment.
  • We may process your personal data under a different lawful basis depending on the circumstances of the processing. For example:
    • We will process your personal data where we are legally required to. For example, we are legally required to ensure you pay your taxes.
    • We will process your personal data for our public tasks. For example, we will share some personal data with HESA as part of our statutory return.
    • We will process your personal data based on our legitimate interests. For example publicising your work contact details, or as part of a performance appraisal.


What we do with your data

  • We collect and use your personal data for the following purposes:
    • To provide you with employment, pay pensions and other staff services.
    • To meet our legal obligations around taxation health and safety and equality.
    • To meet our statutory obligations as a University such as submitting our HESA return.
    • To fulfil our legitimate interests as a business such as using your data in staff lists, contact directories or employee appraisals.
  • We share your data with other organisations that carry out work on our behalf. These organisations are called Data Processors. We only share the data necessary for them to carry out their tasks and we have a contract with them to limit what they do with your data. Where we share your data outside of the EU, we will do so when we are satisfied that there are the correct safeguards in place.
  • We may also share your data with other organisations that use that data for their own purposes, for example to provide you with a pension. These organisations are also Data Controllers and they will make their own decisions about how they use your data outside of our control.

Your rights

  • Everyone has rights about how their personal data is collected, used, stored and managed.
  • You can exercise these rights at any time, but not all rights are applicable in every circumstance. For more details visit our Data Protection page or the UEL intranet.
  • You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioners Office via ico.org.uk and to seek judicial remedy if you believe we have done something wrong with your data. Contact our Data Protection Officer on dpo@uel.ac.uk for more details.

      Download full version of this notice (pdf)

Who we are

  • UEL act as the Data Controller for the purpose of the Data Protection Act (2018).
  • We will make decisions about what personal data we collect from you and how we use it fairly, lawfully and in a transparent manner.
  • Our Data Protection Officer can be contacted on dpo@uel.ac.uk.

What we collect from you

  • We collect and process your personal and special category data including:
    • Name address and contact details for getting in touch with you.
    • Financial details for student fee, loans and grant administration.
    • Sensitive data including your ethnicity, declared disabilities and health information for equality monitoring, and our legal obligations.
    • Data relating to your studies including data used for the formation of your student record.
    • Data relating to any personal devices that you connect to our network.


Lawful basis

  • All processing of personal data needs a lawful basis.
  • As an applicant or student, our principal lawful basis is that we are providing you with an education as part of our public tasks.
  • We may process your personal data under a different lawful basis depending on the circumstances of the processing. For example:
    • We will process your personal data where we are legally required to. For example, we are legally required to ensure you pay your fees.
    • We will process your personal data for the purposes of a contract that you have with us. For example, where you stay in our accommodation or we monitor your attendance.
    • We will process your personal data for our public tasks. For example, we will share some personal data with the Office for Students as part of our statutory return.
    • We will process your personal data based on our legitimate interests. For example taking your photo for your student ID card.
    • In some cases will process your personal data with your consent. For example when we send you marketing or promotional material. When we rely on your consent to do this, you can withdraw that consent at any time.

What we do with your data

  • We collect and use your personal data for the following purposes:
    • To provide you with education and student support services such as access to the library and information and advice.
    • To meet our legal obligations around payment of fees, health and safety and equality.
    • To meet our statutory obligations as a University such as supplying your data to the Office for Students.
    • To fulfil our legitimate interests as a business such as providing your data to UEL’s Student Union or Alumni team.

  • We share your data with other organisations that carry out work on our behalf. These organisations are called Data Processors. We only share the data necessary for them to carry out their tasks and we have a contract with them to limit what they do with your data. Where we share your data outside of the EU, we will do so when we are satisfied that there are the correct safeguards in place.
  • We may also share your data with other organisations that use that data for their own purposes, for example to provide you with a Student Loan. These organisations are also Data Controllers and they will make their own decisions about how they use your data outside of our control.

Your rights

  • Everyone has rights about how their personal data is collected, used, stored and managed.
  • You can exercise these rights at any time, but not all rights are applicable in every circumstance. For more details visit our Data Protection page or the UEL intranet.
    * You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioners Office via ico.org.uk and to seek judicial remedy if you believe we have done something wrong with your data. Contact our Data Protection Officer on dpo@uel.ac.uk for more details.

    Download full version of this notice (pdf)

Who we are

  • UEL acts as the Data Controller for the purpose of the Data Protection Act (2018).
  • We will make decisions about what personal data we collect from you and how we use it fairly, lawfully and in a transparent manner.
  • Our Data Protection Officer can be contacted on dpo@uel.ac.uk.

What we collect from you

  • We collect and process your personal and special category data including:
    • Name address and contact details for getting in touch with you.
    • Education data 
    • Employment data since you graduated from UEL, if you choose to provide it.
    • Financial details if you want to make a donation to us or attend a payable event.
    • Sensitive data including your ethnicity, declared disabilities and health information, if you choose to share it, for equality monitoring and, reasonable adjustment at events. It will not be used for any other purpose.

Lawful basis

  • All processing of personal data needs a lawful basis.
  • As an alumni our principal lawful basis is that we are providing you with an alumni service as part of our legitimate interest.
  • We may process your personal data under a different lawful basis depending on the circumstances of the processing. For example:
    • We will process your personal data where we are legally required to. For example, we are legally required to follow health and safety law.
    • In some cases will process your personal data with your consent. For example when we send you marketing or promotional material. When we rely on your consent to do this, you can withdraw that consent at any time by getting in touch with the alumni team.

What we do with your data

  • We collect and use your personal data for the following purposes:
  • To provide you with an alumni service.
  • To understand your preferences in regards to donating to the university.
  • To provide you with updates about University and alumni activities.
  • To promote opportunities for you to further engage with the University

Your rights

  • Everyone has rights about how their personal data is collected, used, stored and managed.
  • You can exercise these rights at any time, but not all rights are applicable in every circumstance. For more details visit our Data Protection page or the UEL intranet.
    * You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioners Office via ico.org.uk and to seek judicial remedy if you believe we have done something wrong with your data. Contact our Data Protection Officer on dpo@uel.ac.uk for more details.

    Download full version of this notice (pdf)

Information Rights

The Data Protection Act 2018 gives you more control over your personal data by strengthening your information rights. These are:

  • The right to be informed
  • The right of access
  • The right to rectification
  • The right to erasure (aka. The right to be forgotten)
  • The right to restrict processing
  • The right to data portability
  • The right to object
  • Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling

More information about each of these rights is provided on the ICO’s website.

You can submit an Information Rights request quickly, easily and free of charge by completing an Information Rights Request form and emailing it to dpo@uel.ac.uk.

You can find the answers to some frequently asked questions in our Understanding your Information Rights document.

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