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University of York pauses MyUoY app pilot

For the rest of the academic year

Following concerns raised by students and YUSU, the MyUoY app pilot has been cancelled for the rest of the academic year.

In an email sent to students taking part in the pilot, the project team confirmed that "the Check-in Pilot has been paused and will not take place this academic year."

The email states that "students were invited to test the app and in doing so have identified a number of issues with the platform."

Due to concerns raised by students, the university has decided to pause the app pilot and "explore other options for the development and delivery of a new student app."

The app was a pilot version launched by the university from January 2020, that was meant to last until June 2020.

The university claimed the app was being trialled in order to "give easy access to university information and services". It used a controversial "check-in" feature, which would have recorded student attendance to lectures and tutorials.

On the 9th January students in the pilot had received an email stating: "The start dates for the pilot have now been delayed until on, or after, 27th January" in order for the project team to consult students during the week commencing 20th January .

Nouse reported on university-wide concern earlier this month.

They spoke to Computer Science Representative, Tom O'Neill who commented that: "people are rightfully concerned about the extent to which they are expected to put trust in the University." Nouse also spoke to YUSU officers Steph Hayle and Giang Nguyen who aired their concerns.

MyUoY worked off a location based check -in that would have been validated through a Bluetooth beacon within the room, this data would have then been uploaded to the cloud.

Information available to students stated the location data used by the app would "be collected and stored in line with existing university policy around data protection and GDPR."

Location data would have "only verified when you authorise a check in attempt" and "not recorded as you move around the campus."

The university also said they had "no intention of tracking students through the use of this service, or through the use of this app."

Departments included in the pilot were computer science, environment, politics, social policy and social work, International Pathway College and the York Management School.

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