Privacy Notice

To provide our service, it’s necessary that we process certain information which we collect from you, some of which is personal in nature. This data relates to you or to children for whom you have parental responsibility. Our core principle is to keep all personal data strictly private by default – we won’t share any personally-identifiable data with other parties other than as necessary to deliver our service. This page details our policy relating to this information.

Work for a School?

Studybugs’s processing of schools’ data is separate to the processing described in this privacy notice. For a school, Studybugs acts as data processor, acting only on the school’s instructions, and the school is data controller. This relationship is covered by our licence agreement, which includes all the data processing terms and details required by GDPR, and which you can find here (you’ll need to be signed in as a staff member to see this).

Who We Are and How to Contact Us

Studybugs complies with the UK’s Data Protection Bill and the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations), which exist to protect you and your data. For the purposes of the UK’s Data Protection Bill, the data controller for Studybugs is Studybugs Ltd, a company registered in England with registration number 08352917.

If you have any queries regarding Studybugs’s use of personal data please contact our data protection officer by email at .

What Information Does Studybugs Process and Why?

We collect some basic personal information from you which enables us to customise your account and to identify you to schools if you’re reporting a child’s absence. This can include your name, your email address and your date of birth and gender if you choose to provide them.

Optionally you can also provide a list of the children for whom you have parental responsibility and in each case you can specify the child’s name, school, date of birth, gender and profile picture if you wish to.

When you report an illness on Studybugs – either for yourself or a child you’ve added – you’ll need to enter a textual description of the illness, which we record along with other details such as the time reported and the person who’s ill. If you enable location-tracking, we also record your approximate location returned by your browser or mobile phone, together with an estimate of accuracy. This is used when you report sick so we can monitor the geographic spread of illnesses, and helps us show you relevant information about illnesses going around in your area.

If you’re reporting your child’s absence from school, we record this fact along with the time you reported it.

Studybugs works with various public health partners and sometimes we might ask you, on their behalf, if you’d be willing to help with their research by answering some simple questions. If you agree, your answers will be collected.

As well as absence reporting, Studybugs includes functionality for general school-parent communication. When you or another Studybugs user receive a message from another user or school, we record information about when the message was delivered when it was opened, and when any attached files were opened, and show this information to the sending user. This enables users to see that important and often urgent messages about children have gotten through.

If you sign up with Studybugs using your account with a third party (such as Facebook), or choose to connect your existing Studybugs account with a third-party service, we collect certain information from that service to save you entering it into Studybugs yourself directly. This includes your name and, if you’ve provided them to the third party, other information such as your profile picture, email address, date of birth and gender. You can view and edit this information in Studybugs at any point.

As you navigate our website (*, we collect information through the use of commonly-used tools such as cookies (you can find out cookie policy here) and standard website navigational information such as your web browser, IP address and the actions taken on our website. This helps us see how people are using Studybugs and identify where things could be improved. We do this for visitors as well as logged-in users.

We process the information described above for the following purposes:

  1. Helping schools track attendance

    When you report that your child is sick, we pass the school the details so they know not to expect your child and can keep track of attendance. Schools also use the information to keep track of what illnesses are going around.

  2. Helping schools and parents communicate

    When you send a message to a school via Studybugs, we pass that message to the school along with your name and the name of the child the message relates to. When you reply to a message, we pass the reply to all the participants of the message (you can see these when you send the reply), including your child’s school.

  3. Helping improve public health

    With your agreement, Studybugs uses anonymised data for public health purposes. By using Studybugs, you agree to your anonymised sick reports, well reports and demographic data being made available to others for purposes such as:

    • Detecting outbreaks of infectious disease and providing early warnings to vulnerable people such as those with immune system disorders, pregnant women and the elderly or frail
    • Helping diagnose illnesses that other people have
    • Finding sources of outbreaks of disease
    • Evaluating public health interventions such as flu vaccinations
    • Presenting aggregated statistics to users, for example about average absence rates.

    If you’re not happy with your information being anonymised and used for these purposes, you can opt out.

    You can find out more about the anonymised data we collect and share here.

    If you agree to answer additional research questions that we present on behalf of one or more of our public health partners, your answers will be passed on anonymously to those public health partners. Your answers will also be stored by Studybugs to make it quicker for you to answer similar questions in future and to help improve Studybugs (see below).

  4. Improving Studybugs

    We monitor usage data within Studybugs to learn how people are using the service so we can make improvements to it. We also use this data to identify and diagnose potential problems and to help us provide support to users.

Who Do We Share Your Data With?

We use various third-party hosting providers to help us carry out data processing and deliver our service to you. We share your information with these providers to facilitate this. We also share your information with schools, in the ways described above.

Sometimes it might be necessary for us to carry out data processing using third parties who are based outside the EU. Should this be the case, we will ensure that protections are in place equivalent to protections in place for EU-based processing.

Legal Basis

The legal basis for our processing of your personal data, that you provide to us, is that it’s required for us to provide you with this service. The legal term for this is ‘performance of contract’. Exceptions to this are:

  1. Optional data that we collect from you as a parent, such as your date of birth, sex, profile picture and approximate location, which we use to customize the service or for our anonymised data feed (see ‘Helping Improve Public Health’, above). For these, the legal basis for our processing is ‘legitimate interests’.
  2. Data we collect from you about your child, for whom you have parental responsibility, which might include health data (sick reports you enter). For this we ask for your explicit consent on your child’s behalf.
  3. Your own health data (any sick reports you enter for yourself), for which we ask for your explicit consent.

If you’d like to withdraw your consent for our processing of your health data or your child’s data, please email .

Information We Process on Behalf of Your Child’s School

If you have a child at a school that uses Studybugs, it’s likely that on behalf of the school we process certain information relating to you and your child. This information is subject to strict confidentiality, privacy and security controls and is processed separately to the data described in this privacy notice. If you have any queries about the information we process on behalf of your child’s school, please consult the school’s privacy notice or contact the school directly.


Studybugs is committed to keeping your information safe. Studybugs uses administrative, physical, and technical security technologies and internal controls to protect your information from unauthorised access, use and disclosure. Please see Studybugs Security for more details.

Accessing Your Data

If you’d like a copy of your data please email and we’ll provide it in accordance with the law. Please note that the copy will exclude any data that we process on behalf of your child’s school (you will need to contact the school if you require a copy of this) – see “Information We Process on Behalf of Your Child’s School”.

As well as the right to access your information, you have the right to have your information corrected if you consider it to be inaccurate or to have it erased. If you’d like to exercise these rights, please also contact .

Data Retention

We only keep your data for as long as necessary to provide our service. If a period of three years elapses where you haven’t signed in to your account, we’ll notify you by email. If we don’t hear from you within the subsequent three months, and you still haven’t used your account, then we’ll close your account and begin the process of deleting your personal data as detailed below.

How To Close Your Account

You can permanently delete your Studybugs account. If you email us at , your account will be deactivated and then deleted. When your account is deactivated, it is not viewable on For up to 30 days it is still possible to restore your account if it was accidentally or wrongfully deactivated. After 30 days, we begin the process of deleting your account and personal data from our systems, which can take up to a further 30 days.

If you permanently delete your account, you will not be able to regain access to your account. Some of the things you do on Studybugs aren’t stored in your account. For example, schools or other users might still have messages from you even after you delete your account. That information remains after you delete your account.

If you choose to exercise your right to be forgotten in respect of only a part of your data, where we are controller we will consider this.

How You Can Complain

If you have a complaint regarding our processing of personal data you can raise this with our data protection officer by email at or contact the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) – more information here.

Updates to This Notice

From time to time Studybugs might change this privacy notice. If we make changes to encompass new or modified functionality, we will notify you before you access such functionality. In other cases, we will notify you 30 days prior to any material change unless immediate changes are necessary to protect your information. If we make material changes to how we use information you have already given us, we will seek your agreement before applying the changes to you.