COVID-19 Digital Campus

Privacy statement

Last changed: 6 October 2020

What is ‘COVID-19 Digital Campus: a living lab for digital technologies’?

The outbreak and rapid spread of Covid-19 across the world resulted in stringent limitations on interaction between people. Following the first wave of the pandemic, blanket lockdowns have  been lifted piece-by-piece. Yet, Covid-19 will remain among us for some time and events in recent months have shown that people, albeit often unintentionally, violate the prescribed social distancing guidelines. Solutions are required which can help people to act responsibly. Digital technologies can aid in this process.

‘COVID-19 Digital Campus: a living lab for digital technologies’ is an initiative that comprises four research and innovation projects in support of the ‘1.5m campus’. The initiative is unique because it combines scientific research and practical use. TU Delft researchers are expanding scientific knowledge on topics such as mobility flows and student wellbeing and leverage their expertise to create smart digital solutions in support of campus management and campus life. The aim of these new smart digital solutions is to monitor crowding levels on the TU Delft campus and measure the wellbeing of students.

The initiative features four projects, namely:

  1. Outdoor Mobility Dashboard (OMD)
  2. Building Rhythms
  3. Conversational agent
  4. Contact networks for human mobility processes

Jointly, these four projects provide various insights into crowding levels and mobility movements on the TU Delft campus. These insights can be used to define and evaluate crowd management measures and policies in support of the 1.5m-society.

Various data sources are used within the project. As far as possible, data will be drawn from publicly available sources. For instance, travel times and densities of the road networks are drawn from the National Data Warehouse (www.ndw.nu), planned and actual travel-time information from the national public transport data warehouse (https://ndovloket.nl), and real-time bridge openings (https://blauwegolfverbindend.nl). Only if the required data are not publicly available will data be collected as part of this project.

The Outdoor Mobility Dashboard and Building Rhythms project (Projects 1 and 2) feature data from a comprehensive mobility monitoring system consisting of an assorted set of sensors. The conversational agent (Project 3) collects responses of staff and students, e.g. about their well-being. The human mobility networks modelling does not involve any data collection (Project 4).

This privacy statement explains how your privacy is protected while your data are collected and analysed..

Privacy summary ‘COVID-19 Digital Campus – a living lab for digital technologies’

The primary interest of this initiative is to provide insight into crowdedness and mobility on campus, as well as insight into student wellbeing. These insights can be used to define, evaluate, and test policies that aim to limit the transmission of the Covid-19 virus on the TU Delft campus.

The different projects within the initiative have a different timing. The current privacy statement constitutes information relevant to Project 1, the ‘Outdoor Mobility Dashboard’. This Privacy Statement will be revised as soon as new functionality is added to Project 1 or when the other projects become operational. 

Project 1: Outdoor Mobility Dashboard (OMD)

The Outdoor Mobility Dashboard is an important aid to support protecting the well-being of our staff, students and visitors of our campus during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is deployed to detect potential high-risk situations when sufficient distance is not maintained, since this presents a potential risk for public health. It also serves scientific research related to mobility and social distancing.

No personal data are processed and collected for the Outdoor Mobility Dashboard. The sensor network that collects the data for the Outdoor Mobility Dashboard identifies how many people are within the view area of each sensor and how they move, not who is within the view area. Any piece of information that might relate to an identifiable person is obfuscated in such a way that it cannot be traced back to the individual.

Part of the OMD project is a digital twin of the TU Delft campus (see figures 1 and 2). This is a digital replica of the campus, which displays the multi-modal movements of people across TU Delft campus. This digital twin is fed by mobility data that is gathered by a mobility monitoring system. A mobility monitoring system is a set of sensors, algorithms and servers that continuously assesses the state of pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, such as TU Delft campus. This system, for instance, determines the average walking speed, maximum density and average interaction distance between pedestrians and cyclists at our campus.

Privacy-by-design is embedded in the backbone of the monitoring system. Below you can find detailed information about how the right to privacy is preserved, while developing and using the systems.

Figure 1: Screen shot of the digital twin of the TU Delft campus with public transport information
Figure 2: Screen shot of the digital twin of the TU Delft campus with building information

How does the OMD project adhere to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?
By adopting privacy-by-design the OMD team commits to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation. Further, the OMD team undertakes to:

  • openly communicate about the locations and time periods at which a monitoring system is active;
  • provide details with respect to the type of sensors and information that are deployed to collect information;
  • explain the reasoning why crowd monitoring systems are used;
  • ensure that the usage and storage of your data has a legitimate purpose;
  • ensure that usage and storage of your personal data is minimised;
  • ensure that your data is secured and treated with care.

Legal basis for data collection
The legal basis for the processing of the data is the protection of the vital interests of TU Delft. Firstly, these encompass the health and safety of the staff, students of, and visitors to, TU Delft and companies located on campus (i.e. during the current pandemic). After the pandemic, these vital interests will pertain to the accessibility of the campus, as well as the safety, health and security in the short term (traffic safety) and the long term (liveability and sustainability).

In the case of UMO app, we will operate under consent as a legal basis. This means that we will ask you for specific permission to process some of your personal information, and we will only do so if you provide us your consent. You may withdraw your consent at any time by contacting s.hoogendoorn-lanser@tudelft.nl.

Adopting privacy-by-design
Privacy-by-design is at the heart of this project. The raw (unprocessed) collected data is encrypted at the source (i.e. the sensor) in such a way that it is impossible (even for those involved in the project) to recreate the raw data without the exact encryption algorithms and seeds. These algorithms and seeds change dynamically every day.

In addition, the only data which are essential to evaluate people’s movements are captured by the crowd monitoring system and transmitted from the sensor directly towards the mainframe.  No identifiable data leaves the camera’s. If someone manages to intercept the data stream, privacy is still maintained.The mainframe only stores anonymized aggregated statistics showing people as ‘moving objects’. These statistics cannot be traced back to any identifiable person.

Further, the Outdoor Mobility Dashboard only collects data for the purpose of the initiative ‘COVID-19 Digital Campus – a living lab for digital technologies’ firstly, and secondly for the ‘Mobile Campus 2.0’ project, intended to run for the coming five years. The system does not collect nor transmit video feeds. Video images captured (raw data) are translated into statistics at source (i.e. the sensor).

Finally, researchers and security staff have no access to the video feeds.

What data are collected?

As indicated above, only the following data are collected:

  • The speed and direction of moving objects; 
  • The location of all objects within a field of view of a sensor;
  • A temporary hashed identifier of Wi-Fi/Bluetooth enabled devices;
  • The (subjective) assessment of crowdedness by individuals that volunteer to participate in the collection of these data for the OMD (including the location that the assessment adheres to). 

No information is stored at the level of individual objects or Wi-Fi enabled devices. Aggregate statistics, such as average speed, density, flow, travel time and route pertaining to crowd movement dynamics at TU Delft campus are stored in a database within TU Delft’s secured ICT infrastructure.

Four distinct sensors are used to collect the data of the OMD, namely:

  1. Automatic counting systems;
  2. Stereo-vision sensors;
  3. Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/radar sensors;
  4. Smartphone applications which collect subjective crowdedness and location information (opt-in only).

Below you can see additional and detailed information about how these sensors work and where they are located at TU Delft.