Tell ANU: Students say NO to Proctorio

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Proctorio is an online program that accesses a student’s personal computer including but not limited to the camera, microphone and web tabs in order to proctor examinations taken at home.

The ANU is proposing that students use Proctorio for their Semester 1 exams, as we are forced into remote learning due to the COVID-19 crisis. Students and teachers have already worked to make the transition, and this has come with many changes to the style of learning and assessment, however the use of Proctorio to monitor exams should not happen. It would be a gross invasion of privacy, and inaccessible to many students.

Proctorio monitors your eye movements, keystrokes and tabs that are open on your personal device, to determine ‘suspicious’ behaviour. It is advised that you should avoid looking around the room or anywhere other than your computer screen, and not get up and move during your exam or leave the view of the camera. During an exam, Proctorio may take screenshots of your desktop, detect the number of computer monitors connected to your computer, or record your web traffic. Students would have to face being filmed in their home and compromising the security of their personal computers. Students who move their eyes too much, have the wrong facial expressions, or move their bodies can be identified by Proctorio and then penalized, or made to move their camera around and show an invigilator the room they're in. It's creepy and unacceptable that in order to take an exam, students would be filmed in their house.

In addition to the invasion of privacy, students could face penalty or scrutiny if others can be seen walking around in the background, or if they are in an area with noise. Students would require a reliable internet connection, webcam, microphone, and a compatible computer.

At any time, but especially during the COVID-19 crisis, it would be preposterous to assume that all students have access to the above conditions in order to take the exams, or that they consent to the breaches of their privacy. Academic societies have written an open letter expressing their concerns and voicing student resistance to the proposed use of Proctorio, and representatives from ANUSA have also expressed opposition, with many General Representatives from the SRC signing an open letter in opposition. 

We the undersigned reject the proposed use of Proctorio for exam invigilation.
We believe it is unacceptable in any circumstance for the university to track our keystrokes, access our computers’ cameras, film us in our homes, and use AI technology to determine we look “suspicious”.

We reject this gross invasion of our privacy, and demand that alternative arrangements be made across the University for any exams which are currently set to be invigilated via Proctorio, including but not limited to canceling exams, setting take-home essays and open book exams instead, or delaying exams until they can be done safely in accordance with physical distancing. These arrangements should be agreed upon between the students and teachers, nothing should be implemented without student consultation. We will not accept being spied on!