Activity data to Enhance and Increase Open-access Usage (AEIOU)
The IP Address identifies the computer from which the request originated and is used to provide the notion of a user session. Although this may not directly identify a user (e.g. the computer maybe shared publicly), in terms of Data Protection Act (DPA), IP addresses may constitute personal data if an individual user can be identified by using a combination of that IP address and other information. This applies even when personal data are anonymised after collection.
We also need to consider that the AEIOU project is aggregating and processing data (that includes IP Addresses) originating from other institutional Repositories with no direct end-user relationship. The Using OpenURL Activity Data project has addressed this by notifying institutions that sign up for their OpenURL resolver service. We have no explicit agreement with the partners involved in the current project but aim to review their existing privacy policies should the service be continued. For example, do policies for storing and processing user data include repository reporting software and Google analytics and should users be made aware of this through the repository website?
In order to provide a recommendation service (lists of items frequently viewed together) for this repository, usage data is collected and processed. Data is collected using software that tracks each web site visitor via their IP address and this is stored in an encrypted form to protect the users' privacy. The usage data may also be used for reporting purposes, i.e. most highly viewed article, most downloaded pdf file, etc. We do not gather any other personal information.
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