Privacy concerns after an EduTech CEO shared student chat logs on Reddit

Students have raised privacy concerns after Proctorio CEO shared chat logs of a student seeking help from their support staff. The CEO has since apologized and emphasized that they take the privacy of their clients seriously.

The CEO of exam monitoring software Proctorio has apologized after posting student a student’s chat log with support on Reddit. This is after a back and forth between the student and the support resulted in a student’s complaint being posted anonymously online by the said student.

Mike Olsen, who is the CEO of the US-based Proctori, in trying to prove the student was lying after he posted that the company’s support staff were not helpful, decided to post a section of communication online between the student and the support members.

The student had posted that after launching a complaint with the support, they had gone MIA (missing in Action). The student claimed he had raised a technical issue during the exam but failed to get any help from the company’s support.

Proctorio deals with exam monitoring software that is used during online exams to monitor students through webcams, keystrokes and microphones to detect cheating. The system is administrated by the school and the company has always insisted that it takes privacy concerns seriously. The data collected during the exam is then saved and analyzed by examiners to ensure that no cheating occurred during the exam.

Privacy concerns raised by students and schools

After Olsen posted the chat logs, it didn’t take long before schools and students realized what he had done. Ian Linkletter, an employee of the faculty of education at the University of British Columbia, criticized the posting of private information on the public platform and said it violated the privacy of the students. He went on to raise privacy concerns and lack of respect for students and described the move by the CEO as contempt for students that he rarely sees.

Students also took note of the post and launched complaints calling for their respective schools to abandon the usage of the exam monitoring software. Grace Hill, a student leader at Australian National University (ANU) who leads the opposition on the usage of the software in her school called the move to post private chatlogs of a student by the CEO, ‘freakishly disrespectful.

Responding to privacy concerns raised by students, ANU spokesman said the data collected in the school was secure. He maintained that the school took privacy concerns from the students seriously and guaranteed them that all data collected is disposed of after exams are finalized.

 

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