'It's invasive': U of R student raising privacy concerns about new exam monitoring software
REGINA -- A University of Regina student has shared some privacy concerns relating to the school’s new online testing software.
Elias Maze is a fourth-year student at the University of Regina who studies economics. This university year, he will be taking his courses online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With his exams set to take place online, Maze said he is concerned about the software the University is requiring students to use to write their exams.
Elias Maze, a fourth-year economics student at the University of Regina, is raising privacy concerns about new exam monitoring software being used by the school. (Cally Stephanow/CTV News)
"It's invasive to students," Maze said. "There's no way that professors should be allowed to see inside students help homes, or a program should not have access to my facial recognition and knuckle scans."
The University of Regina will be using a software called ProctorTrack which will ensure the academic integrity of the exam by monitoring the student’s computer activity.
"They have passwords, they have cards pre-saved onto their laptops," Maze said. "Although the university might say that they won't be looking at this information, but just to even have access to information like this, I believe is inappropriate."
As part of ProctorTrack's policy agreement it said it employs “industry standard practices to protect your Personal Information in accordance with this Policy and applicable law."
The University said it did extensive research before selecting ProctorTrack and said it is very confident student's privacy will not be breached. It said other post-secondary institutions in Canada also use this software for exams.
"We did perform some considerable due diligence, with respect to the information that might be collected, stored and used by the platform and delivering the service to the university," Art Exner, the Associate Vice-President of Information Services at the University of Regina, said.
"All of the information that I have reviewed, the University has received in responses that the vendor has provided to our questions and our concerns, there is nothing in that set of material or those conversations that would lead that would lead me certainly to have any undue concern."
Maze said he thinks the University should look into alternative options for how students will write their exams.
"The University has facilities to socially distance safely in small classes and there are other alternatives," Maze said.
Maze said he plans on writing a letter to the Saskatchewan Privacy Commissioner about his concerns.