Request to Ban FIU from Forcing Students to Use Honorlock

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Due to the spread of COVID-19, Florida International University as well as other educational institutions around the country have opted to transition from face-to-face instruction to virtual instruction. While this decision greatly benefits the well-being of the population and protects individuals from potential exposure to the virus, it places students at FIU at an educational disadvantage for a variety of reasons.

First, online classes are no substitute for traditional learning. With these virtual interactions, Professors and students are now required to alter their methods of learning, making it difficult for those impacted by the virus and/or external factors. During this time, we acknowledge that the administration is dealing with personal anxieties and institutional emergencies regarding COVID-19. We also acknowledge the need to further higher education learning yet the added pressure on students to meet honorlock requirements poses a challenge for many and invades their privacy. Below we outline the reasons why students should be able to opt out of the Honorlock requirements: 

  •   Honorlock requires students to show 360 degrees of the room in which their exam will take place.
  • Honorlock takes a picture of both your face and photo ID.
  • Honorlock collects your IP address, email address, and cookie data.
  • Honorlock will record the student throughout the entire exam. 
  • Honorlock is allowed to keep this information for up to a year, and in some cases up to 2 years. 
  • You are required to use google chrome, a web browser that has been accused of taking and selling people’s personal information.
  • Honorlock requires a webcam and microphone. This places students with limited access to technology or a quiet testing location at a disadvantage. Additionally, there is a delay in delivering packages depending on its necessity, a category that webcams do not fall under. Without one, students automatically fail their exams.
  • Students must have a reliable internet connection, which again is not a reality for many.
  • Honorlock claims that during the exam they can detect usage from a student’s devices such as cell phones and Ipads. They will also screen record your device if suspected of cheating. 
  • You are required to be in the room alone for the duration of the exam. This does not account for students with difficult living situations. 

The current pandemic has been a stressful time for many around the nation. As students at Florida International University, we come from diverse backgrounds and during a time like this, we must come together as a community. Recognizing the altered lives of many is extremely important, but even more so, it is necessary for the administration to take steps in alleviating some of the pressure and stress placed on its student body. We do not demand for final exams to be cancelled but for the extraneous requirements of Honorlock to be removed.