End the Use of ProctorU at Memorial University

End the Use of ProctorU at Memorial University

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Claire Davids started this petition to Memorial University of Newfoundland

Despite the announcement of a massive data breach affecting more than 400,000 students worldwide, including several of its own students, Memorial University has decided to use the online proctoring service “ProctorU” to invigilate students during exams in the upcoming online semesters. Countless students have expressed deep concern regarding the use of ProctorU and have shared their distressing experiences with the service. Some of the issues stated include:

-Users having their computers and mouses locked, rendering their technology useless during an exam, sometimes continuing after an exam has concluded

-Users experiencing alterations to their computer settings and system features (such as webcam, audio and speakers) without any instruction or assistance in reverting the changes made after an examination

-Users’ sessions abruptly ending, and/or having trouble accessing an exam or assignment

-A complete lack of technical support from proctors before, during and after an examination 

-Having difficulty with the set-up process before examinations 

-Experiencing functional issues at the start of or part-way through exams that wastes valuable time for answering questions 

-Reports of tampering with users’ credit card information 

-Proctors inappropriately asking to see sensitive information on a user’s computer, such as photographs

-Proctors leaving their microphone on during an exam, therefore causing distraction to students 

Students have asserted their collective anxiety towards the use of ProctorU and many have considered dropping entire courses or choosing to not complete course examinations to avoid using the service. Students who struggle with their mental health and/or live with a disability have expressed that using ProctorU increases their stress and intensifies the anxiety and/or other struggles they face, and that they feel their needs are no longer being accommodated. 

Despite ProctorU’s claim in their Privacy Policy: “We retain information for as long as necessary to perform the Services described in this Policy, as long as necessary for us to perform any contract with you or your institution, or as long as needed to comply with our legal obligations,” a recent, massive data breach that occurred this July revealed that data from 2013-2015 was accessed by hackers. It is alarming that not only does ProctorU access your data while in use, but clearly also retains information long-term and creates the ability for your data to be stolen years from now. 

The principal issue students have with ProctorU does not lie with the use of webcam for invigilation, but rather with the required permission for proctors to gain extensive and invasive control of users’ computers. 

The purpose of this petition is to call upon Memorial University to reassess their decision to use ProctorU in the upcoming semesters and collaborate with its students to find an alternative solution that addresses the issues expressed and accommodates students living with disabilities.

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