Is Online Test-Monitoring Here to Stay?Students with dark skin described the software’s failure to discern their faces. In video calls with live proctors from ProctorU, test-takers have been forced to remove bonnets and other non-religious hair coverings—a policy that has prompted online pushback from Black women in particular—and students accessing Wi-Fi in public libraries have been ordered to take off protective masks. Transgender students have been outed by Proctorio’s "ID Verification" procedure, which requires that they pose for a photograph with an I.D.
that may bear a previous name. Other anecdotes call attention to the biases that are built into proctoring programs. Low-income students have been flagged for unsteady Wi-Fi, or for taking tests in rooms shared with family members. senators sent letters to Proctorio, ProctorU, and ExamSoft, requesting information about "the steps that your company has taken to protect the civil rights of students," and proof that their programs securely guard the data they collect, "such as images of [a student’s] home, photos of their identification, and personal information regarding their disabilities." (Proctorio wrote a long letter in response, defending its practices.) On December 9th, the nonprofit Electronic Privacy Information Center submitted a complaint to the attorney general of D.C.
against five proctoring companies, arguing that they illegally collect students’ personal data. More recently, several students in Illinois have sued their institutions for using the software, alleging that it violates their rights under a state law that protects the privacy of residents’ biometric data. On December 3rd, six U.S. "Being in sports for as long as I was, and getting yelled at by coaches, I don’t get stressed much," he said.
The first time Yemi-Ese opened the application, positioning himself in front of his laptop for a photo, to confirm that his Webcam was working, Proctorio claimed that it could not detect a face in the image, and refused to let him into his exam. He was initially unconcerned when he learned that several of his classes, including a course in life-span development and another in exercise physiology, would be administering exams using Proctorio, a software program that monitors test-takers for possible signs of cheating.
A former Division 1 football player, majoring in kinesiology, Yemi-Ese had never suffered from anxiety during tests. When the coronavirus pandemic began, Femi Yemi-Ese, then a junior at the University of Texas at Austin, began attending class and taking exams remotely, from the apartment that he shared with roommates in the city. Yemi-Ese turned on more lights and tilted his camera to catch his face at its most illuminated angle; it took several tries before the software approved him to begin.
Now, whenever he sits down to take an exam using Proctorio, he turns on every light in his bedroom, and positions a ring light behind his computer so that it shines directly into his eyes.