Miami University student accuses Proctorio of privacy abuse, bias

Occurred: 2020-23

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Miami University student Erik Johnson accused remote exam cheating detection company Proctorio of providing invasive and inequitable software, raising questions about the system and company leadership, and prompting a legal dispute.

In a series of tweets, computer engineering student Johnson criticised Proctorio as invasive, 'inherently ableist and discriminatory', and posted an analysis of the software’s code on Pastebin. 

In response, Proctorio CEO Mike Olsen demanded that three of Johnson’s tweets were removed by Twitter under a copyright takedown notice and blocked his IP address so he could no longer use the software to take his exams.

In April 2021, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) sued Proctorio for trying to silence critics through the misapplication of copyright law. The two parties settled out of court a year later.


Operator: Miami University
Developer: Proctorio
Country: USA
Sector: Education
Purpose: Detect exam cheating
Technology: Facial detection; Gaze detection; Machine learning
Issue: Bias/discrimination - race; Freedom of expression; Privacy
Transparency: Governance; Black box; Complaints/appeals; Marketing; Legal