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Learner II

How can an institution comply with the GDPR in the EU concerning personal data?

According to the GDPR: Institutions in the EU have the obligation to ensure that personal data are "limited to what is necessary".

Personal data must be adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which those data are processed.

Canvas does collect data from students that access Canvas at home. A teacher is f.e. able to see when the exact time that a student did access a course or an item in the course. How does this comply with the GDPR? Is it necessary that a teacher can see at what hour and at what minute a student did click on a link in Canvas? Will the GDPR allow this? Can this Canvas feature be turned off?

4 Replies
Adventurer II

Quite a challenging road ahead  @tobe_baeyens ‌ I have often used a number of these 'analytic' features when discussing work related issues with parents and students (and staff who asked me about homework/Canvas engagement issues).

When talking with parents it is always done in a positive manner and I usually start a discussion where I ask parent if they would like me to check. Parents very appreciative of the support they get (especially as they are not yet on Canvas to check students' progress) but clearly there needs some clarification here.

Will be very interested to hear responses from others on this. Perhaps one for my CSM jonas.pitteljon

Community Coach
Community Coach

I’m in the US, but I will say having that information is important to us. If a student says they tried to do something in Canvas and had problems and that’s why they didn’t submit their work, we need to be able to check when the student was trying to access the content and the browser/technical info. We can’t help if we can’t tell what the problem is or to check to see if the student is even providing accurate information. 

You are absolutely right. Works in lots of ways - checks and balances. Above all important that we are transparent with what the data is being used for and highlights the positives.

In addition to data being adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary I would also include timely.

Had long discussion this morning with a colleague on written reports to parents and the fact that the process can often take 4+ weeks from start to completion by which time the information contained on the report may no longer be relevant and accurate. Moving from summative reporting to formative feedback has so many positives to it. Important that you manage the digital data effectively.

Community Coach
Community Coach

 @tobe_baeyens ,

Were you able to find an answer to your question? I am going to go ahead and mark this question as answered because there hasn't been any more activity in a while so I assume that you have the information that you need. If you still have a question about this or if you have information that you would like to share with the community, by all means, please do come back and leave a comment.  Also, if this question has been answered by one of the previous replies, please feel free to mark that answer as correct.