Teaching and learning

Privacy Notice - MyStudies

The academic advising functionality of the Aalto Service Platform follows the Aalto University Data Protection Policy. This document details how your data is processed and stored in the academic advising feature of the Aalto Service Platform.

(This document has been updated in May 2024 to reflect upcoming changes to Thesis Management. Other language versions will be updated before the implementation is live.)


Aalto University is committed to protecting your rights and freedoms when your personal data is being processed by the university. The academic advising functionality of the Aalto Service Platform follows the Aalto University Data Protection Policy. This document details how your data is processed and stored in the academic advising feature of the Aalto Service Platform.

Aalto University uses third-party partners to provide most of its services, including the Aalto Service Platform, which is provided as a platform-as-a-service solution by Salesforce.org EMEA Limited under a data protection agreement and other contractual obligations with Aalto University. All personal data handling processes are strictly controlled, and personal data is processed entirely within the EU/EEA.

Why is Aalto using your personal data?

Aalto University uses the Aalto Service Platform and its academic advising feature to provide:

  • Faster and more engaging academic advising to you.
    By having a complete picture of your studies at Aalto, we can ensure you get the advising services you need. Through MyStudies, you will have all of your support services at your disposal, and you will be able to manage your advising meetings easily. You will be able to see your previous meetings and what was discussed as well. In some cases, we may proactively reach out to you if we believe you might benefit from additional advising.
  • A smooth thesis process.
    You are able to start drafting your thesis as early as you wish and fill the details as you go along. Once you begin the actual thesis writing, you'll be supported along the way. Once it's time to submit, you'll be kept up to date at every step of the evaluation process.
  • A more coherent picture of your full lifecycle of life-wide learning.
    Aalto’s teaching extends far beyond degree-level studies. No matter how you learn at Aalto, you will have support along the way.
  • Easier access for you to your data.
    You will be able to see your important study-related information in one place. You can be confident that the information is correct. You will be, in most cases, notified of any changes.

What personal data is kept on me?

To provide you with the best level of advising services, we store the following personal data on you:

  • Your basic identifying information, such as name, email address, student number and Aalto school.
  • Information about your past, present and future advising meetings, including the dates and times, the participants, and the notes written.
  • Information about your tasks and success plans.
  • Information about your course attainments, including partial attainments, and plans for your studies.
  • Information about your bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral thesis works currently in progress or completed, including the topic, information about the people involved in guiding and supervising the thesis, and information about the evaluation and grading of the thesis.
  • Information about your study rights at Aalto.

Who sees your personal data?

As a principle, your personal data is only visible to people who have a justified need to access it while at Aalto. However, you should be aware that the academic advising feature does provide more access to your personal data than before.

If you are a student, the following people have access to your personal data:

  • The academic success team assigned to you can see all your personal data. You can check the current members of your team at any time in your student dashboard. Your success team also includes your thesis supervisor, if you are currently writing a thesis.
  • Academic programme directors and head of majors who are in charge of your programme or major see all of your personal data.
  • All Learning Services (LES) support staff members can see all your personal data in case you need support from them. However, they will only access your personal data should they need it for their work.
  • Other students only see your personal data when you use social functions, such as Chatter, or interact with them personally, for example in a meeting with them. In any case, they will not see more than your basic information, such as your name.

Occasionally, your personal data may be visible to other people for the following purposes:

  • To perform necessary technical maintenance, and to investigate and diagnose service disruptions and malfunctions
  • To fulfil Aalto’s legal obligations

All Aalto staff members and third-party service providers are trained in handling private information. Additionally, they are bound by legal and contractual obligations to be careful with your personal data.

Aggregation of personal data for analytics and reports

In principle, people who have the permission to see your personal data are able to use that personal data in aggregate to generate analytics and reports. These analytics may be used, for example, to:

  • Generate statistics on study activities at the school and department level
  • Measure the workloads of Aalto staff and students
  • Identify students who would potentially benefit from additional advising, and students who may have difficulties in their studies 

Accessing your personal data

Most of your personal data is directly visible to you in the academic advising and student dashboard functionalities. However, some kinds of personal data are directly not visible, including:

  • Notes about students if the notes are not directly attached to a meeting, or notes that have restrictive visibility settings
  • Chatter messages about students that are not in the public Chatter groups

In general, we try to minimise the amount of personal data you cannot access yourself. Staff are instructed not to create notes with limited visibility. In any case, you have the right to request a copy of your personal data pursuant to applicable law. For requests, please email [email protected].

Rectification of incorrect personal data

Your identifying information, such as name and email address, come from other systems of record (such as Sisu and Workday HR), and need to be rectified there. The personal data entered directly in the academic advising tool can be rectified in the system.

To make personal data requests related to your rights as a data subject, use Aalto’s personal data portal at https://datarequest.aalto.fi/en-US/.

Handling of sensitive personal data

Aalto Service Platform, including the academic advising feature, is not designed or certified for the processing of sensitive personal data. Pursuant to the GDPR, sensitive personal data is data dealing with racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, genetic data, biometric data, health or a person’s sex life or sexual orientation.

Staff members using the academic advising feature are instructed not to store any sensitive personal data in the system. In case of accidental storage, the personal data will be deleted following a request. For deletion requests, please email [email protected].

Suspected misuse of personal data

If you suspect that your personal data has been misused, please email [email protected] and contact the Aalto University data protection officer directly as detailed in the Aalto University Data Protection Policy. All requests are handled confidentially.

Data retention, automated decision-making, and processing personal data outside the EU and the European Economic Area

Personal data is retained as stated in the Aalto University Records Management Plan. When the retention period specified in the data control plan has ended, the data is destroyed safely and in accordance with the protocol given for destroying of data.

Automated decision-making is not currently used in academic advising.

Personal data is not processed or transmitted outside the EU/EEA for any academic advising purposes.

Privacy notice

Privacy notice for students

Privacy notice for students
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