fbpx

Respondus Proctoring Software Uses Student Biometrics BIPA Class Action

Respondus, Inc. offers “online proctoring software” that is meant to allow students to take tests remotely while preventing cheating. However, the complaint for this class action alleges that the company actually “provides sophisticated digital surveillance technologies to third parties” which invade students’ privacy. It also alleges that the company collects “everything from a student’s facial features to their voice” without properly informing students and without fulfilling the requirements of Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

The class for this action is all persons who took an assessment using Respondus Monitor in Illinois at any time between April 2, 2016 and January 20, 2021.

Because of the coronavirus, many schools have moved learning and/or testing online. Students have little to say about this; if their school is using certain software programs, the students are generally required to download and use them.

The complaint alleges, “One of Respondus’ automatic proctoring tools, called Respondus Monitor, captures, uses, and stores vast amounts of data, including facial recognition data, facial detection data, recorded patterns of keystrokes, eye monitoring data, gaze monitoring data, and camera and microphone recordings to effectively surveil students taking online exams.”

For example, the complaint says that “Respondus’ website and marketing materials acknowledge that the Respondus Monitor tool uses facial recognition technology to determine, among other things, whether the person who started the exam switches to a different person along the way.”

The results flow into another of its programs, Review Priority, which ranks results for the risk that a violation of the testing rules have occurred. Instructors can check flagged events to see if they should be given deeper scrutiny.

Are students aware of all this data collection and storage? No, the complaint says: “Respondus does not disclose or obtain written consent” before it collects biometrics; and it “fails to disclose what it does with that biometric data after collection and does not comply” with the BIPA “retention and destruction requirements for private entities that possess biometric identifiers or biometric information.”

In various states and at various universities, students and faculty have been petitioning officials to terminate their contracts with online proctoring companies.

This class action, the complaint says, aims to enforce legal rights under BIPA for the collection, storage, and use of biometrics. Biometrics are unique to specific persons, and if they are compromised, they cannot be changed.

Respondus updated its Monitor Privacy Policy on January 21, 2021. The complaint says that all of its references to the Monitor Privacy Policy refer to the previous policy, in effect before January 21, 2021.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Privacy

Most Recent Case Event

Respondus Proctoring Software Uses Student Biometrics BIPA Complaint

April 2, 2021

Respondus, Inc. offers “online proctoring software” that is meant to allow students to take tests remotely while preventing cheating. However, the complaint for this class action alleges that the company actually “provides sophisticated digital surveillance technologies to third parties” which invade students’ privacy. It also alleges that the company collects “everything from a student’s facial features to their voice” without properly informing students and without fulfilling the requirements of Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

Respondus Proctoring Software Uses Student Biometrics BIPA Complaint

Case Event History

Respondus Proctoring Software Uses Student Biometrics BIPA Complaint

April 2, 2021

Respondus, Inc. offers “online proctoring software” that is meant to allow students to take tests remotely while preventing cheating. However, the complaint for this class action alleges that the company actually “provides sophisticated digital surveillance technologies to third parties” which invade students’ privacy. It also alleges that the company collects “everything from a student’s facial features to their voice” without properly informing students and without fulfilling the requirements of Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

Respondus Proctoring Software Uses Student Biometrics BIPA Complaint
Tags: BIPA, Taking/Storing/Using Biometric Data, Your Privacy