University Students Fight Use of Anti-Cheating Software over Privacy Concerns

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Jan 25, 2021 | 0 Comments

Amid widespread remote learning and remote test-taking during the ongoing pandemic, a group of Western University students in London has begun lobbying the school to stop using the Proctortrack anti-cheating software in administering tests, citing privacy violations. At least one school within the university has listened to them. Western's Ivey Business School has announced they will stop using Proctortrack, opting instead to monitor testing via Zoom in tandem with other software platforms like Learn Quizzes and Turnitin. Other schools and departments have no plans to discontinue the use of Proctortrack, however.

Privacy Concerns

What makes Proctortrack controversial is its use of identity verification protocols to safeguard against cheating—a method many students feel is a violation of their privacy. The concerns have been heightened even further since Proctortrack suffered a security breach last fall. While the software claims to be over 99 percent accurate at its highest levels—making it highly attractive for schools—students feel they are being forced to take unnecessary risks with their personal information.

A Growing Debate, Fueled by False Flagging

Western University is just one of many schools where students are raising concerns with proctoring platforms—and in some cases, they're not just lobbying for change: they are outright rebelling with protests and more. As the Washington Post reports, students at multiple colleges across the country are raising concerns about anti-cheating software. In most of these cases, the primary issue is the oversensitivity of the programs in attempting to identify the signs of cheating. Students claim they have been flagged for finishing tests too quickly (or slowly), moving their gaze a certain way, moving their head “abnormally,” over-clicking the mouse, and much more. Some students claim remote test-taking now fills them with anxiety because every movement is scrutinized. Some even claim they have urinated at their desk at home for fear of leaving the view of their webcams.

A Fine Line

This controversy raises serious questions about the balance between cheating prevention and students' rights. Do students truly have to put their personal information at risk in order to convince teachers they are not cheating? While there is an inherent need to safeguard the integrity of online learning, should it come at the cost of a student's mental well-being? Do schools bear any responsibility if the anxiety of remote test-taking causes a student to underperform? Most importantly, what happens when a student is falsely accused of cheating because the software “detected” a facial expression or an eye shift that it considered “suspicious?” There are no easy solutions at this point, but at the same time, some adjustments need to be made in order to keep honest students from being falsely accused—or worse, make them reluctant to take tests at all.

If you have ben wrongly accused of cheating due to a fluke in an anti-cheating software—or if you feel your rights as a student have otherwise been violated—the Lento Law Firm can help. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped thousands of students deal successfully with school discipline issues across the country. To learn more, call 888-535-3686.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Mr. Lento represents students and others in disciplinary cases and other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Mr. Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he has sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address school-related issues and concerns anywhere in the United States.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today!


If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact our offices today, and let us help secure your academic career.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.