With 1.2 billion learners impacted by COVID-19 school closures, proctor applications are becoming critical for ensuring test taking remains fair remotely. Because proctor applications require a lot of information from the user, which can include webcam access, driver’s licenses, passports and sometimes a complete computer takeover, the organizations behind these apps are responsible for keeping user data secure to protect privacy.
If this user data is breached, students are at an increased risk for identity theft and fraud. With 58 percent of higher education institutions considering or having already decided to remain fully online for fall 2020, proctor application development will likely increase, so data protection and privacy must be front and center.
Online proctoring: Security versus privacy
While there are risks when using insecure applications, there are also best practices institutions can follow to protect student data.
Proctor applications and privacy concerns
Educational institutions are at a crossroads of ensuring fair test taking while not being too intrusive into a student’s privacy. As seen with the recent American Board of Surgery licensing exam, full access to computers, webcams, and phones was required to take the test, in addition to a photo of the student’s passport and a face scan. As in this case, proctor applications sometimes require extensive access and data to ensure there is no possibility of cheating.