Adrian Beney's FAQs | FAQs

Note that all of these FAQs date from before the implementation of the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EU) Directive. They shold not be relied upon in 2015 or later. But they do provide a bit of interesting historic detail, and some of them are still up to date.

Section: Data Protection

Can we publish lists of Missing Alumni on our Web Site?


It depends on whether the alumni attendance at your institution is a matter of public record.

If it is (ie the institution takes steps each year to publish degree results etc) then I see no reason why you should not. You shouldn't publish any more information on the web than the institution has already made public, but the following should be OK

  • Name (but possibly not name(s) which the person subsequently used)
  • Subject of Study
  • Year of Graduation
  • Any other information made public at the time

The reason that this is OK is that it does not identify any unique individual in such a way that you could say "Ah, the person called Dursley in Privet Drive must be that person who graduated from the University of Poppleton in 1971."

For this reason you should not publish former addresses.

If attendance at the institution is not a matter of public record, then you have more of a problem, and it could be argued that any publication of information on the web of such data requires the permission of the data subject, which would be hard to get since they're missing! On the other hand you could still argue that since this does not identify a unique individual, then no permission is needed. I suggest you seek the advice of the Information Commission on this one.

For their helpline number see information at this link

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