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GWU apologizes for data project monitoring student and staff locations on campus

The university's president says the 'pilot program' was looking at building density and safety issues.
By: | February 14, 2022

George Washington University interim president Mark S. Wrighton apologized Friday to the campus community for the university’s failure to inform it in advance of a data analytics pilot program that monitored locations — though not individualized data — of students, faculty and staff last fall.

The project, Wrighton wrote in his letter to the campus community, was a combined effort of the school’s IT, student affairs, and safety and facilities divisions that used data collected from Cisco WiFi points across GWU’s campuses “to determine density and use of buildings by students, faculty, and staff in the aggregate in order to assess how this could help inform the Safety and Facilities team’s operational priorities.”

The research also accessed “de-identified student data for use by the Division of Student Affairs to assess capabilities for providing insights into the utilization rates of various campus facilities by broad segments of the student population.”

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