Stop USyd using ProctorU for exams!

Stop USyd using ProctorU for exams!

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Jack Mansell started this petition to Sydney University

In the wake of classes being moved online, the university has announced that they will be pushing to use ProctorU to conduct online examinations. ProctorU software is extremely invasive and creates security, privacy and accessibility issues, and this is of serious concern to students. The utilisation of software like ProctorU is designed as an extremely punitive way. This overreach is extreme, particularly in the circumstances of COVID-19, in which studies have been severely disrupted, and when many students have lost employment and/or been forced to move home.

Students should face NO negative consequences for their studies based on results from COVID-19 affected studies. 

So what's wrong with ProctorU, exactly? Faculty at the University of California recently investigated the privacy policy of the company and wrote of their objections to its use in a letter to the Vice Chancellor. Information available on ProctorU’s website details the regular collection of:

“driver’s license and passport numbers; other personal identifiers and biometric information including genetic, physiological, behavioral, gender identity, and biological characteristics; activity patterns and identifying information unique to each user including fingerprints, faceprints, voiceprints, iris or retina scans; IP addresses or device identifiers; browsing history, search history, and information about students’ interactions with websites, applications, or advertisements; medical information including medical conditions, physical disability, and/or mental disability; photographs, video, and audio recordings; education and employment information including that related to citizenship”

The policy explicitly acknowledges that this data is regularly disclosed to third parties.

ProctorU also requires students to surrender total control of their computer, with administrator privileges, to a stranger on the other side of the world. The person remote controlling the computer has the ability to change security settings, download private files from the student and run any script that they want. ProctorU’s Terms of Service waive them of any responsibility should a student be infected with malware as a result of using their service. In addition, not all students have access to computers that can run ProctorU software, presenting an accessibility barrier, and one which is accentuated by issues of student poverty and class. 

Students should not be penalised for any disruption to studies produced by the COVID-19 outbreak. The university's attempts to introduce ProctorU represent an extremely punitive approach to examinations that should be opposed entirely. 

Jack Mansell - Education Officer, University of Sydney SRC 

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