West Cheshire College UK

According to the RFID Journal West Cheshire College started tagging their students in 2010 with active ultra wideband (UWB) RFID, supplied by Zebra Technologies, for registration. This may be the first instance of active RFID tagging students in the UK.
Please see the Links page for RFID industry and media coverage and here for the history .

– Dec 2012 – RFID use in West Cheshire Collegesuccessfully answered

– Dec 2012 – To clarify RFID use in West Cheshire Collegeinformation refused

West Cheshire College were unclear on consent, how the RFID was used and whether staff were RFID tagged.

REFUSED QUESTIONS – On 26th Feb 2013 a complaint was lodged with the Information Commissioner’s Office – Ref 50488835.
On 27th Feb 2013 West Cheshire College responded to questions replying that they generally were unable to uncover any information and that the RFID location system had been halted. (In order to comply with the FOIA the ICO advises establishments to “disclose the information you held at the time of the request“.)

The Information Commissioner’s Office’s (ICO) deliberation on West Cheshire Colege’s refusal is here. Notably on the issue of students consenting to be RFID tracked in real time this is the ICO’s findings:

“In respect of question 4, I noted that information relating to RFID tags and their purpose was covered during the College’s induction/enrolment. I therefore invited the college to let me know whether it held any recorded information in relation to the induction/enrolment process and the information imparted.

The College responded by stating:
‘we can confirm that the induction process is covered verbally with students. It is fair to assume that information about RFID was also communicated verbally to students’.”

West Cheshire College had no record of the RFID in their “Physical Document Storage, Archived document store, West Cheshire College website search, Current Email, Archived Email from backup”

– Jan 2013 – Detail and characteristics of RFID use in West Cheshire Collegepartially successful some information refused.

West Cheshire College were unclear on start dates of using RFID and type of RFID used to locate students.
REFUSED QUESTIONS – On 4 March 2013 a complaint was lodged with the ICO – Ref 50488836.
The ICO’s findings can be read here.

The ICO stated: In relation to questions 1 and 3, the College has provided details of the searches and enquiries it carried out (as described above) and has reiterated that it does not hold any recorded information falling within the scope of your request.

West Cheshire College had no record of the RFID in their “Physical Document Storage, Archived document store, West Cheshire College website search, Current Email, Archived Email from backup”

Conclusion: West Cheshire College had NO record of the specification of the RFID the children were carrying and did not know when the RFID was implemented.

– Jan 2013 – Information gathered and stored by RFID tags at West Cheshire Collegepartially successful.

West Cheshire College were unclear about what information was viewed and how long information on student location was stored.

– Jan 2013 – Procurement procedure regarding the RFID real time location system at West Cheshire College – some accurate answers.

The answers received were poor, with answers that did not relate to the question asked.
Letter of concern due to nature of answers sent to the Information Commissioner’s Office 6th May 2013.
See ‘Letter of concern to ICO of procurement of RFID‘ Complaint FS50513631
24th October 2013 – After communication with the ICO West Cheshire College will be issuing a fresh response under the Freedoms of Information Act. Response due back by 22nd November 2013.
Response received 4th November, see Whatdotheyknow.com

– Feb 2013 – RFID tags in college – further detailpartially successful.

West Cheshire College unclear about IEEE standard of RFID and the specification of the RFID used to tag students.

– March 2013 – RFID use in West Cheshire College after student location system ceased February 2013 – successful.

April 2013 – Reason/s for ceasing the real time location system tagging students with RFID in West Cheshire College.

REFUSED QUESTIONS
3rd May 2013 – West Cheshire College cites Section 14 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to refuse my request as it has been deemed a “Vexatious Request”
6th May 2013 – An Internal review was requested. Review due back 11 June 2013 latest, with an extra 5 days allowed for half term.
29th May – Reply received still considering request as vexatious.
15 June 2013 a complaint was lodged with the ICO – Ref 50504545.
9th October 2013 – The ICO found that “the College is not correct to refuse the requests of 3 April 2013 and 9 April 2013 as vexatious.”
and has instructed the college to answer the Freedom of Information Act questions.
Response received 4th November, see Whatdotheyknow.com

– January 2014 – UWB RFID Real Time Locastion System at West Cheshire College

Three questions on release of information to a journalist not able to be released under the Freedom of Information Act or the Information Commissioners Office, report on the RFID system and possible refund of costs. Answer due by 3rd March 2014.

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