Examining the Examiners: Students' Privacy and Security Perceptions of Online Proctoring Services


David G. Balash, Dongkun Kim, and Darika Shaibekova, The George Washington University; Rahel A. Fainchtein and Micah Sherr, Georgetown University; Adam J. Aviv, The George Washington University


In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, educational institutions quickly transitioned to remote learning. The problem of how to perform student assessment in an online environment has become increasingly relevant, leading many institutions and educators to turn to online proctoring services to administer remote exams. These services employ various student monitoring methods to curb cheating, including restricted ("lockdown") browser modes, video/screen monitoring, local network traffic analysis, and eye tracking. In this paper, we explore the security and privacy perceptions of the student test-takers being proctored. We analyze user reviews of proctoring services' browser extensions and subsequently perform an online survey (n=102). Our findings indicate that participants are concerned about both the amount and the personal nature of the information shared with the exam proctoring companies. However, many participants also recognize a trade-off between pandemic safety concerns and the arguably invasive means by which proctoring services ensure exam integrity. Our findings also suggest that institutional power dynamics and students' trust in their institutions may dissuade students' opposition to remote proctoring.

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@inproceedings {274477,
author = {David G. Balash and Dongkun Kim and Darika Shaibekova and Rahel A. Fainchtein and Micah Sherr and Adam J. Aviv},
title = {Examining the Examiners: Students{\textquoteright} Privacy and Security Perceptions of Online Proctoring Services},
booktitle = {Seventeenth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS 2021)},
year = {2021},
isbn = {978-1-939133-25-0},
pages = {633--652},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/soups2021/presentation/balash},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug

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