Degree Analytics (Virginia Commonwealth University)

Jason Koebler filed this request with the Virginia Commonwealth University of Virginia.

It is a clone of this request.

Multi Request Degree Analytics
Est. Completion None
Status
Partially Completed

Communications

From: Jason Koebler


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

Public reports state that this university may have partnered with Degree Analytics, an AI company. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/12/24/colleges-are-turning-students-phones-into-surveillance-machines-tracking-locations-hundreds-thousands/ & https://degreeanalytics.com/about-us/)

Therefore, I hereby request the following records:

1) All instructional materials, presentations and presentation materials (including recorded video and audio, PowerPoint files, prepared remarks, and slides formats), and other guidance on the use of Degree Analytics. This includes A) any notes taken during meetings that discussed the use of Degree Analytics, B) any explanations (whether internally or externally generated) of how Degree Analytics works, and C) any other document that has been used to help explain the use of Degree Analytics, including internal documentation, public relations materials, and executive summaries.

2) A copy of any privacy impact assessments, use policies, standard operating procedures, data retention policies, legal opinions, warranties, non-disclosure agreements, contracts, liability waivers, insurance agreements, Requests for Proposals, Responses to Requests for Proposal, Memorandums of Understanding, Letters of Interest, usage policies, or informal agreements between the police department and Degree Analytics.

3) A copy of any funding opportunity announcements, grant applications and grantor status/progress reports, reports to legislative bodies, annual reports that mention Degree Analytics, as well as audit records, including but not limited to security audits of the software, misuse reports, and reports to oversight bodies.

4) Any digital communications including but not limited to emails and text messages) as well as documents, (including but not limited to PDF, word processing, excel, and slide documents) that mention Degree Analytics.

5) Any case reports in which Degree Analytics was used.

5) Any digital communications (including but not limited to emails and text messages) with Degree Analytics representatives.

Please try to include any other miscellaneous documents that facilitate this police department's relationship with Degree Analytics that don't neatly fall neatly into the above categories.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes. It will be used in the course of reporting for Motherboard, VICE’s science and technology website (www.motherboard.vice.com).

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Jason Koebler

From: Virginia Commonwealth University

Dear Mr. Koebler,

This office received your request for records related to Degree Analytics
on January 30, 2020. For ease of reference, I've copied your itemized
requests below providing VCU's response immediately after each request in
red for ease of reference. Further, this email serves as notice that VCU
will require the additional seven work days allowed for response to items
1, 4 and the second item 5 below pursuant to Va. Code §2.2-3704(B)(4) as it
is not practically possible to provide the requested records or determine
whether or not they are available within the five work day period.

1) All instructional materials, presentations and presentation materials
(including recorded video and audio, PowerPoint files, prepared remarks,
and slides formats), and other guidance on the use of Degree Analytics.
This includes A) any notes taken during meetings that discussed the use of
Degree Analytics, B) any explanations (whether internally or externally
generated) of how Degree Analytics works, and C) any other document that
has been used to help explain the use of Degree Analytics, including
internal documentation, public relations materials, and executive
summaries.

As you may not be aware, Va. Code §2.2-3704 (G) requires that FOIA requests
be reasonably specific in identifying requested records. Your requests for
"any notes takes during meetings that discussed the use of Degree
Analytics" and "any other document that has been used to help explain the
use of Degree Analytics" do not identify records with enough specificity to
enable VCU to search for them in any reasonable manner. If you would like
to narrow your search parameters to identify the requested records with
reasonable specificity (e.g., identify a time period or keywords), VCU will
be able to provide you with an estimate of how much a responsive would
cost. However, in the meantime, some responsive information is accessible
here: https://studentsuccess.vcu.edu/ramattend/

2) A copy of any privacy impact assessments, use policies, standard
operating procedures, data retention policies, legal opinions, warranties,
non-disclosure agreements, contracts, liability waivers, insurance
agreements, Requests for Proposals, Responses to Requests for Proposal,
Memorandums of Understanding, Letters of Interest, usage policies, or
informal agreements between the police department and Degree Analytics.

Attached is a copy of VCU's contract with Degree Analytics. As to the
remainder of your request, the requested records do not exist. Note: This
response and the attachment assumes your request pertains to documents
relevant to the relationship between VCU and Degree Analytics and not the
"police department" and Degree Analytics.

3) A copy of any funding opportunity announcements, grant applications and
grantor status/progress reports, reports to legislative bodies, annual
reports that mention Degree Analytics, as well as audit records, including
but not limited to security audits of the software, misuse reports, and
reports to oversight bodies.

Attached is a copy of the information VCU presented to its IT Governance
Committee as well as a copy of an email summarizing the internal
information security risk analysis and data classification performed by
VCU's Information Security office. As to the remainder of your request,
the records do not exist.

4) Any digital communications including but not limited to emails and text
messages) as well as documents, (including but not limited to PDF, word
processing, excel, and slide documents) that mention Degree Analytics.

Va. Code §2.2-3704 (G) requires that FOIA requests be reasonably specific
in identifying requested records. Your requests for "any digital
communications...that mention Degree Analytics" does not identify records
with enough specificity to enable VCU to search for them in any reasonable
manner. If you would like to narrow your search parameters to identify the
requested records with reasonable specificity (e.g., identify a time period
and keywords), VCU will be able to provide you with an estimate of how much
a responsive would cost.

5) Any case reports in which Degree Analytics was used.

As VCU's IT staff understands the term "case report", the requested records
do not exist. By way of further explanation, because VCU's use of the
Degree Analytics system has been limited to collecting pilot data, VCU has
not used the system to report attendance data. Therefore, there are no
case reports.

5) Any digital communications (including but not limited to emails and text
messages) with Degree Analytics representatives.
Va. Code §2.2-3704 (G) requires that FOIA requests be reasonably specific
in identifying requested records. Your requests for "any digital
communications...that mention Degree Analytics" does not identify records
with enough specificity to enable VCU to search for them in any reasonable
manner. If you would like to narrow your search parameters to identify the
requested records with reasonable specificity (e.g., identify a time period
and keywords), VCU will be able to provide you with an estimate of how much
a responsive would cost.
Best,

*Michele S. Howell*
FOIA Officer
University Public Affairs
Grace Street Center, Sixth Floor
912 W. Grace St./ P.O. Box 842041
Richmond, VA 23284-2041
804-827-3909

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