Tell Google to blacklist one-star e-proctoring spyware app

Google

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Proctorio is an e-proctoring service used by thousands of students in the United States, from middle and high school to professional licensure tests. Although Proctorio is sold to schools as a tool to prevent students from cheating, it’s really just spyware. Proctorio collects tons of data by tracking keystrokes, going through device files, recording screen activity, using facial recognition, tracking eye and body movements, and more. In most cases, students are required to use Google Chrome and install Proctorio spyware in order to complete their coursework.

In 2021, Proctorio’s browser plugin for Chrome was unlisted from the extension search. Previously, students directly downloaded it from Chrome’s extension store - now it can only be accessed by a direct link at GetProctorio.com. It’s possible that the unlisting was due to a swarm of well-deserved negative reviews landing Proctorio with a one-star rating. Instead of listening to reviewers, Google chose to let Proctorio hide from public backlash. Proctorio violates Chrome’s policy against spyware, and its user agreement is misleading about how much data is collected. It’s time for Chrome to remove Proctorio and blacklist this unethical company permanently.

Like other forms of facial recognition, Proctorio’s face detection has a high error rate when it comes to identifying Black students’ faces. Some students are even forced to shine multiple lights in their faces in order to be recognized as a person.

Proctorio also monitors students’ head movements, eye movements, and body movements in general. If students are judged by the algorithm as “moving too much,” they are flagged for potential cheating. Because fidgeting and eye movements are often a symptom of medical conditions, academic professionals, data privacy activists, and students immediately identified this practice as deeply ableist.

In response to the injustice of forced use of racist, ableist spyware, students and faculty members have risen up to demand that schools abandon the use of e-proctoring services. Petitions from all over the country have gathered tens of thousands of signatures. There was even a letter from lawmakers demanding that e-proctoring services “address alarming equity, accessibility, and privacy issues faced by students using the platforms.”

Surveillance does not stop cheating, and it does not make anyone safer. The illusion of control is tempting for education institutions struggling to adapt during the pandemic, but Proctorio’s racial and ableist discrimination harms countless students while invading the privacy of all.

E-proctoring must be banned, and Google has the power to end Proctorio immediately. This would be a huge win for students everywhere, who should not be forced to install spyware in order to complete their education.

Tell Google to remove Proctorio’s extension from Chrome immediately!

Petition language:

Google,

Because of the pandemic, students all over the country have been forced to complete online courses using spyware distributed via the Chrome. The spyware is so invasive that it logs keystrokes, reads files, records screens, detects faces, and monitors student behavior supposedly to “flag for cheating.” It is racist and ableist, harming students who are already marginalized.

We call on you to listen to the countless reviewers you’ve hidden from public view, all of whom gave Proctorio a one star review. Enforce your own policy against spyware immediately.

Students, parents, academic professionals, and data privacy advocates are all sounding the alarm on this glorified spyware. Surveillance does not prevent cheating, it only punishes students who are different, subjecting them to additional scrutiny and marginalization. Remove Proctorio from the extension store once and for all!



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To: Google
From: [Your Name]

Because of the pandemic, students all over the country have been forced to complete online courses using spyware distributed via the Chrome. The spyware is so invasive that it logs keystrokes, reads files, records screens, detects faces, and monitors student behavior supposedly to “flag for cheating.” It is racist and ableist, harming students who are already marginalized.

We call on you to listen to the countless reviewers you’ve hidden from public view, all of whom gave Proctorio a one star review. Enforce your own policy against spyware immediately.

Students, parents, academic professionals, and data privacy advocates are all sounding the alarm on this glorified spyware.. Surveillance does not prevent cheating, it only punishes students who are different, subjecting them to additional scrutiny and marginalization. Remove Proctorio from the extension store once and for all!