Usyd online exam supervisor "ProctorU" has serious privacy issues
Mar 25, 2020 —
We, the undersigned, are also appalled at the University’s recent plans to force students to undertake third-party online exam supervision by ProctorU Inc. We implore the University to follow the demands of the University of California Santa Barbara Faculty Association in protecting the privacy of students and their family homes, while also being equitable to students who are either unwilling or unable to provide hours-long recordings of themselves to an offshore company for ineffective online examinations. This only reaffirms the need for courses to be taught on a PASS/FAIL basis, through assignments, take-home exams, or traditional online quizzes if necessary.
The software requires students to present an 8-second video of their exam location after being asked ‘to clean [their] room’, in an extreme and unwarranted invasion of privacy that has not and will not be consented to. These videos are stored by ProctorU “for as long as necessary” and are subject to foreign privacy laws. The company’s CCPA disclosure explains that the software relies on “biometric facial recognition software” and also collects and mandates the sharing of biometric information including “genetic, physiological, behavioural, and biological characteristics, or activity pattern unique to you including identifying information, such as fingerprints, voiceprints, iris or retina scans, or keystroke.”
This information is freely available at http://proctoru.com
The University’s plans are available here: https://canvas.sydney.edu.au/courses/23380/pages/preparing-for-your-online-test
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