UCSB ProctorU data sharing
Occurred: March 2020
A warning by University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) faculty association members raising concerns about the potential sharing of student data with third parties resulted in a backlash against online proctoring service ProctorU.
According to a March 2020 letter (pdf) to the university's administration, ProctorU 'regularly collects and distributes' a wide range of student information such as social security numbers, browsing history, gender identity, medical conditions, fingerprints, faceprints, voiceprints, retina scans and more.
In response, ProctorU attorney David Lance Lucas threatened (pdf) to sue the faculty association for defamation and violating copyright law, and accused it of 'directly impacting efforts to mitigate civil disruption across the United States' by interfering with education during a national emergency.
Lucas' threat was condemned as inaccurate and unreasonable bullying by senior lawyers and others. According to Vice, ProctorU never filed a lawsuit against the UCSB faculty association. But the threat 'had a chilling effect on professors’ willingness to discuss the software.'
Operator: University of California (UCSB)
Developer: Meazure Learning/ProctorU
Purpose: Detect and prevent cheating
Technology: Facial recognition; Fingerprint recognition; Voice recognition
Published: January 2023