The University of Southampton
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Privacy Notice

The University of Southampton’s Residential Services engage in the provision of accommodation to students and staff. We value your privacy and we recognise the need to process your personal Data in a fair and lawful manner.

The University is the data controller, which means that we are responsible for deciding how we hold and use personal data about you. We are providing you with this privacy notice because you are applying for or accepting an offer of accommodation with us. It makes you aware of how and why your personal data will be used, namely for the purposes of the applying and contracting for and living in University accommodation, and how long it will usually be retained for. It provides you with certain information that must be provided under the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) (GDPR).

Data refers to the information that we hold about you from which either on its own or in combination with other information you can be identified and may include names, contact details, photographs, identification numbers, online identifiers, biometric information and expressions of opinion about you or indications as to our intentions about you.  A list of the data we collect is set out below.

"Processing" means doing anything with your Data, such as collecting, recording or holding the Data as well as disclosing, destroying or using the Data in any way.

This notice may be amended from time to time and you can obtain a current version on our FAQ page.

Data Protection Principles

We will comply with data protection law and principles, which means that your data will be:

  • Used lawfully, fairly and in a transparent way.
  • Collected only for valid purposes that we have clearly explained to you and not used in any way that is incompatible with those purposes.
  • Relevant to the purposes we have told you about and limited only to those purposes.
  • Accurate and kept up to date.
  • Kept only as long as necessary for the purposes we have told you about.
  • Kept securely.

What information does the University collect?

In connection with enabling you to apply for accommodation and to accept your accommodation offer we will process the following categories of personal data about you:

  • The data you have provided on your application form or to the University prior to applying for accommodation, including name, title, address, your contact details, contact details of next of kin, personal email address, landline/mobile numbers, date of birth, and gender;
  • Any identification numbers associated with you, either attributable by the University, or third party sources that share Data with us including your UCAS ID number (if relevant);
  • Your nationality;
  • Your programme(s) of study, your offer and enrolment status, and the years of study
  • Records of all contact we have with you;
  • Bank or credit card/debit card details secured using SSL technology.

What if you do not provide your personal data?

If you fail to provide data when requested, we will not be able to process your application for accommodation successfully.

Why does the University process personal data?

We need to process your personal data to enable us to process your application for accommodation in fulfilment of our contract with you.

In some cases, we need to process data to ensure that we are complying with our legal obligations, such as statutory reporting requirements.

We will use the personal data we collect about you to enable you to:

  • apply for and accept an accommodation contract with the University;
  • to receive information about your accommodation, services, opportunities and events in your halls;
  • to access support services available to you in halls and the wider University;

It also enables us to:

  • provide your University accommodation, and associated contracts;
  • to help ensure a balanced mix of students across our accommodation
  • communicate with you about your accommodation, services, opportunities and events;
  • to respond to queries you may have about your accommodation
  • to provide suitable support for you while you are in halls, which may include liaising with other parts of the University, including your Faculty, Student Services and Finance
  • to contact you about market research activities (e.g. surveys, focus groups, workshops) about your University and halls experience
  • to provide data for reporting purposes for the University e.g. student discipline, and occupancy levels in University accommodation
  • to provide information to the University Student Discipline team to ensure compliance with the University regulations
  • to analyse our student population in relation to accommodation to allow us to plan and model demand to provide student accommodation to meet the needs of students and the University

How the University uses your Special Category Data

We may also process the following “special categories” of more sensitive personal data, where this is absolutely necessary:

  • Information about your race or ethnicity if provided by you in the notes on your accommodation application;
  • Information about your religious beliefs, if provided,  by you in the notes on your accommodation application form;
  • Any disability or other medical information that you have provided to the University;
  • Any other personal information you have provided on your application form, or when speaking to staff.

We will only process sensitive personal data where you have given the University your explicit consent to do so during the enrolment process and/or you have included in your accommodation application form unless we are legally obliged to do so.

We will use your particularly sensitive personal data in the following ways;

  • We will use data about your disabilities or other medical to ensure you are placed in suitable accommodation and/or that appropriate adjustments are made to enable you to live in halls safely.
  • We will use data about your nationality to help ensure a balance of students across our accommodation. We will only use data about your religious beliefs if you have provided it to us as a reason for being placed in a particular room type or area e.g. ensuite or single gender.
  • To ensure meaningful equal opportunity monitoring and reporting and to fulfil any legal obligations to provide data to statutory bodies such as the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)

Information about criminal convictions

We will only use data about your criminal convictions to help ensure that you are placed in appropriate location in halls and/or to support you in complying with any restrictions placed on you as part of the terms of any sentence.

Processing for limited purposes

We will only process your Data for the specific purpose or purposes that we tell you about, or if specifically permitted by the UK Data Protection Act 1998 or the Data Protection Act 2018 (depending on which is in force at the relevant time), and will only process your data to the extent necessary for that specific purpose or purposes.

Accuracy

We will keep the data we store about you accurate and up to date as relevant to the purpose or purposes for which we process it. Data that is inaccurate or out of date will be destroyed.

Please notify us at accommodation@soton.ac.uk if your personal details change or if data we hold about you is inaccurate. Some of the data we hold comes from elsewhere in the University. If the incorrect data does come from elsewhere we will tell you how to get the information corrected by contacting your Student Office or amending your contact details via the My Student Record button on SUSSED.

How will your personal data be collected?

We obtain your personal data either directly from you or indirectly from the following third party sources with whom you have had contact, such as:

  • UCAS; 
  • University systems holding information about your application to study at the University
  • University services that you have interacted with such as Student Services, Finance or your Faculty;
  • The Home Office or other third party in relation to your status as a home or international student;
  • Other third party sources in relation to your accommodation application, contract and/or subsequent residence in accommodation such as third party accommodation providers we contract with for the provision of accommodation or our contractors providing services supporting the provision of accommodation;
  • From third party sources in relation to your funding, such as the Student Loans Company or your sponsor.

We will always look to ensure that the third party has the lawful authority to share this data with us and has collected it from you fairly.

How will your personal data be secured?

We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected data security breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected breach where we are legally required to do so. In addition, we limit access to your personal data to those employees of the University who have a business need-to-know. They will only process your personal data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

Holding and retaining your data

We will retain your personal data for a period of time after you have applied for accommodation. If you do not enrol at the University we will retain your information for 15 months post your application. If you do enrol at the University we will retain your information while you remain at the University, and for 15 months after you graduate. If you enter into a contract for accommodation we will keep your information for 7 years after the end of the contract. We retain your personal data for that period so that:

  • we can show, in the event of a legal claim, that we have not discriminated against candidates on prohibited grounds and that we have conducted the offering of accommodation in a fair and transparent way.
  • We comply with the Limitations Act 1980 in regard to retention periods for contracts and financial records, and insurance claims

After this period, we will securely destroy or anonymise your personal data in accordance with our Data Retention Schedule. For more information about the length of time that we retain certain types of data please see our Data Retention Schedule on our Policies and Guidelines page.

Who has access to your personal data?

Your information will be shared internally within the University for the purposes of processing your application and providing our services to you.  It may be used for the purposes that we have advised you of in your enrolment privacy notice.  

We will only share your personal data with the following third parties for the purposes of processing your application and providing you with our services while in our accommodation. We will be sharing your data when appropriate with:

  • third party sources in relation to your accommodation application, contract and/or subsequent residence in accommodation such as third party accommodation providers we contract with for the provision of accommodation such as Liberty Living or Riverside Way Ltd, or our contractors providing services supporting the provision of accommodation such as Occam (software providers), Securitas (security) and maintenance contractors;
  • Southampton Students Union to enable provision of student hall committees
  • with other departments within the University in provision of wellbeing support to both Student Services and academic faculties, in providing term time addresses, for the administration of complaints, investigations and disciplinary matters, for health and safety reporting and other reasons to support the provision of accommodation and academic services to students
  • external agents of the University for debt collection when debts relating to the accommodation contract remain unpaid including solicitors, debt recovery agents, tribunals and courts
  • in emergency situations we may share your data with emergency services
  • where we are required legally to do with the Home Office and other bodies in connection with your immigration status
  • with the Police or other regulatory bodies in connection with the investigation of a potential crime

All third-party data recipients are required to take appropriate security measures to protect your personal data in line with our policies. We do not allow our third-party data recipients to use your personal data for their own purposes. We only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.

We may need to share your Data with third parties in order to comply with the University’s legal obligations, such as where you have employed an agent to act on your behalf.

Exceptionally, we may  disclose your Data with a third party if required to do so: to protect or defend the University’s rights, interests, or property, or those of third parties; act in urgent circumstances to protect the personal safety of University constituents, or the public; or protect against legal liability.

Automated decision making and profiling

You will not be subject to decisions that will have a significant impact on you based solely on automated decision-making. We will use some of the Data that we obtain about you to build a profile of you to enable us to offer you suitable accommodation and support you while in halls.

Your rights

You have a number of rights. You can:

  • access and obtain a copy of your data on request;
  • require us to change incorrect or incomplete data;
  • require us to delete or stop processing your data, for example where the data is no longer necessary for the purposes of processing;
  • object to the processing of your data where we are relying on our legitimate interests as the legal ground for processing; and
  • ask us to stop processing data for a period if data is inaccurate or there is a dispute about whether or not your interests override the organisation's legitimate grounds for processing data.

If you would like to exercise these rights please use our online form or write to:

The Data Protection Officer

Legal Services

University of Southampton, Highfield

Southampton, SO171BJ

Email: data.protection@soton.ac.uk

Unwanted communications

If at any stage you are concerned about the content of communications from Residential Services e.g. unwanted marketing information or you wish to change how we communicate with you please contact us at: accommodation@soton.ac.uk. Please note that as part of your contract we will need to communicate with you about your halls accommodation, and that email is our preferred means of communication.

Further information

We also have additional policies and guidelines concerning particular activities. If you would like further information please see our Publication Scheme.

If you are unhappy with the way that we have handled your data you can contact us at: gdpr@soton.ac.uk or contact the Information Commissioner’s Office. See their website.

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