Students who use proctoring software have a right to know how their data is being used

November 04, 2020

As universities migrate to online platforms, questions over how exam proctoring software companies use student data have come to light.

The Eyeopener reports that more than 1,000 Ryerson students have signed a petition against the use of a particular exam proctoring software. This software—which students must download and agree to the terms of use policy—restricts students from accessing their computer applications and in some cases, it permits students to be monitored through their devices’ webcams while the software is in use during exams.

Privacy lawyer Molly Reynolds told The Eyeopener that there is a broad range of data that exam proctoring software companies are allowed to collect and that students who download this software should familiarize themselves with privacy policies and the terms and conditions.

“You do always have the right to know what information is being collected,” she said.

“Understand what types of uses of data are optional, whether that’s contacting the company directly or going through the educational institution.

“If it’s not clear from the documentation the company provides what the options are, or how their data is going to be used, follow-up with the university and get those answers.”

Molly also stressed that students who are required to use exam procuring software have a right to know how their data is being used.

“Even though you don’t have a choice of whether to take an exam without using a (proctoring) software, you do always have the right to know what information is being collected, how it’s going to be used and how long it’s going to be kept for,” she said.

You can read more about our Privacy practice on the expertise page.

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