The Queering University programme has worked with the trans staff and student community at Warwick to identify key policy protections and responsibilities that enable trans people to participate fully and safely as members of the Warwick community. These key considerations, presented by theme below, are intended to inform the review of the University's Trans & Gender Reassignment policy.
Personal Data & Confidentiality
- The general principles of the GDPR have particular relevance; when processing trans people's personal data you should have a good reason for doing so, data should be collected for specified, explicit, legitimate purposes, you should only collect the smallest about of data needed for your purposes, you should ensure the accuracy of the data you collect and store, you need to be able to justify the length of time you retain data, you should not retain data longer than necessary, you should maintain the integrity and confidentiality of the data you collect, and there should be clear accountability mechanisms.
- Ensuring the accuracy of the data you collect includes ensuring sufficient options at the point of collection, such as title and gender options that can accurately record non-binary identities.
- Some data might not traditionally be seen as confidential, such as legal name and gender. However, sharing a trans person's legal name or gender might constitute a risk to their safety or wellbeing, particularly where it has the effect of outing them to others.
- A trans person's disclosure of their gender, trans identity, chosen name, legal name, and other similar data should not be assumed as consent to share said data or to use it in a wider context. The consent to use, process, or share that data may be limited to a specific context, environment, or set of people. In particular, a trans person might be 'out' to some people, but not others, and thus clarity and consent should be sought in relation to (for example) what name and pronouns to use in what context.
- Clarity should be provided in relation to what data is being collected, how it will be used, who will have access to it, and how it can be updated in the future. This includes demographic data collected at (re)enrolment or induction, which can later be updated via eVision or SuccessFactors.
- Unless legally prohibited, data analysis should not exclude trans women from the categories of 'woman' or 'female', nor trans men from the categories of 'men' or 'male'.
- It is imperative to ensure clarity in terms of what data is being collected. For example, the concept of 'legal sex' is ill-defined, and without additional clarification will result in a data set which cannot be assumed to represent legal gender markers as held by HMRC, gender markers as on drivers' license, gender markers as on birth certificates etc. Not only does this cause confusion at the point of request, it causes significant issues for data analysis.
- Legal sex related data should never be collected in isolation from gender, and should only be collected where there is a clear relevance and necessity, such as for payroll purposes due to external (HMRC) requirements.
- Legal sex related data and legal name data should only be used when absolutely necessary i.e. where legally required. A person should be addressed by their chosen name, and with the correct gendered language, at all other times. Legal advice should be sought where there is any uncertainty.
Community consultation supported the use of the Queering University's LGBTQUIA+ glossary of terms for any definitions required within policy.
There was a consensus that we should move away from the use of the term 'preferred' in relation to chosen names and pronouns, as it suggests a degree of optionality. The proposed alternative is 'chosen name' and 'chosen pronouns', or simply 'name' and 'pronouns' (where there is no potential for confusion with other data such as legal name).