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I’ve heard a lot about consent, but I’m not sure if we get it from students?

The good news is that most of the data processed by the university falls within our public task, or form part of our obligations under contract with the student. Consent needs to be managed carefully. The GDPR requires consent to be ‘specific, explicit, informed and freely given’. In order for the consent to be ‘specific’, the request for consent must be distinguishable from any other parts of a form. 

Similarly, for the consent to be ‘explicit’ the individual must sign/agree to the request to provide the information separately from any other part of the form. For example, where a student agrees to be part of a research project, they agree/sign once to agree to be part of the research and then sign/agree a second time to the actual data processing that is involved. This consent must be retained for as long as the data to which it refers is held.

Having, and making available a fair processing notice (see FAQ 7) means that when a person consents to their data being processed, their consent is informed by the information provided in the fair processing notice.

The final element of consent, that it is ‘freely given’, may be the hardest to achieve. If there is any element of the processing of the personal data that cannot be started, or continue without the individual’s consent to it, then the consent cannot be freely given and it will be necessary to find another legal basis for the data processing.