Stop invasive online proctoring at University of London and provide a fair alternative

Stop invasive online proctoring at University of London and provide a fair alternative

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Petition to
University of London and

Why this petition matters

Started by UOL Students

We ask to stop invasive online proctoring at University of London and provide a fair alternative to students of EMFSS programme. The current set of conditions deviates from other programmes. 

We ask to eliminate double standards, ensure the examination approach being equal across examinations for University of London programmes held in May-June this year.

18th January, 2022, University of London announced that it will now assess all undergraduate programmes through online examinations. But did not provide further clarifications for EMFSS students.

1st February, 2022, University of London has for the first time revealed that the exams for EMFSS students will be online closed book Proctored exam. This was done just under 3 months from the exams. No further detail about the Proctored software was provided and they again expect students to wait till 21st February, 2022 for further details.

21st February, 2022, University of London announced the final details of assessment of 2021-2022 for EMFSS students. Even after so many students standing against the decision, UOL has managed to ignore most of our concerns. Concerns regarding privacy and forced consent which is against UK GDPR have been so far ignored, they have even ignored students who don't have resources to accomodate such exam format, and more.

UK GDPR and exploitation of consent 

1. Students will be enforced to provide consent and accept Online Proctoring tool Terms & Conditions in order to use the service. 

Please also consider the circumstances, under which students will be leaving their consent:

  • There has been no alternative provided that would not lead to below-listed circumstances. Such is effective for any student that is not providing consent 
  • At the same time, there has been no binding legal agreement between university and students that would require privacy-breaching practices as necessary to successfully complete examinations. Also, doing so would enforce students to agree with invasive Proctored exam tools. 

Please consider the set of consequences students face if consent is not given: 

  • If not providing consent, students are faced with a considerable time loss, due to resulting consequence of being left with an opportunity to exams next year only 
  • If not providing consent, students are faced with a considerable financial loss, as a result of already paid on-going university fees for the year 
  • If not providing consent, students that are approaching BSc completion time limit of 6 years are faced with an increased risk of not being able to proceed with their BSc 


"Article 4 (11) of the UK GDPR stipulates that consent of the data subject means any: freely given,  specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject's wishes by which he or she, by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to the processing of personal data relating to him or her."

"12. The element “free” implies real choice and control for data subjects. As a general rule, the UK GDPR prescribes that if the data subject has no real choice, feels compelled to consent or will endure negative consequences if they do not consent, then consent will not be valid. If consent is bundled up as a non-negotiable part of terms and conditions it is presumed not to have been freely given. Accordingly, consent will not be considered to be free if the data subject is unable to refuse or withdraw his other consent without detriment. The notion of imbalance between the controller and the data subject is also taken into consideration by the UK GDPR.
2. The definition of integrity should be equal 
As many University of London programmes are privileged from the use of invasive online Proctoring service in order to participate in May-June examinations, it is clear that the use of such third-party service and their data collection is not necessary. We do not see students of EMFSS programme being any different to students having an alternative examination within University of London. 

"22 Article 7(4) UK GDPR: “When assessing whether consent is freely given, utmost account shall be taken of whether, inter alia, the performance of a contract, including the provision of a service, is conditional on consent to the processing of personal data that is not necessary for the performance of that contract.” See also Recital 43 UK GDPR, that states: “[...] Consent is presumed not to be freely given if it does not allow separate consent to be given to different personal data processing operations despite it being appropriate in the individual case, or if the performance of a contract, including the provision of a service, is dependent on the consent, despite such consent not being necessary for such performance.
3. Integrity, legitimate interest 

Ensuring that students will not cheat can be seen as a legitimate interest, however, this should not enforce students to accept invasive third-party software and its Term and Conditions. 

"Article 6 (f) Legitimate interests: the processing is necessary for your legitimate interests or the legitimate interests of a third party unless there is a good reason to protect the individual’s personal data which overrides those legitimate interests"  


In order for students not to face the above stated consequences given circumstances that are in control of University of London, students are enforced to comply with Proctored exam requirements at students' expense, whether it is in a form of privacy, health or additional monetary expense. 

From students not allowed to use restrooms, to need to purchase a "suitable laptop" in order to comply with third-party requirements, the fact of discrimination has been so far ignored.

To name a few: 

  • Discrimination against students with only Linux 
  • Discrimination against students with medical circumstances (IBS, OAB) by disallowing the use of restrooms 
  • Discrimination against students with insufficient hardware or unreliable electricity infrastructure (Students from developing countries who face internet disconnections and power outages) 
  • Imposing an intrusive proctoring application with full access to sensitive personal information, a complete disregard for the privacy of the students 
  • Failing to take into consideration a variety of individual situations (shared apartment space, lockdown, work duties, etc).
  • Proctored softwares have large number of crashes, bugs and generally a dysfunctional software. 


We want our feedback to be heard in order for students not to face consequences and concerns stated above. 

As University of London is in the full control of circumstances, such consequences can be eliminated by providing a fair alternative that would not discriminate students of EMFSS programme, by eliminating double standards, ensuring examination approach being equal across examinations for University of London programmes held in May-June this year.

There are a set of alternative cases that we as students are open to discuss: 

  • Open-book exams with no Proctoring like other programme students.
  • Alternative assignments, such as essay-writing, answering questions and elaborating on arguments that allow us to critically think about the content
  • Time-limited exams, in which students need to download an exam, take it, and upload it before a certain time.
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