By Mike Olsen, Founder & CEO
In 2020 the world of education was forced to make a quick transition to digital learning environments, and the rapid shift to online courses and assessments required a new way to protect exam content and ensure test-taker integrity without using testing centers or other in-person resources. Remote proctoring became the immediate solution to this problem in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The industry’s growth was coupled with concerns and criticisms over end-user privacy, data security, ethical use of software, algorithmic bias, and accessibility.
Proctorio has taken steps to address these concerns by partnering with third-party experts, conducting audits in accordance with recognized international standards, and improving our products and services.
Privacy and Data Security
Proctorio is committed to the privacy and security of users’ data. Importantly, Institutions, and not Proctorio, decide what exam proctoring features (and related data) they want to use. Humans, not machines, make all final determinations regarding exam integrity.
To further this commitment we’ve partnered with third-party data security auditors to validate our correct use of end-to-end encryption and have achieved ISO 27001 and SOC2 certification.
We offer institutions a “bring your own key” option to further secure test-taker recordings and images collected and stored by Proctorio. Learn more about our data security practices and third-party audits in the privacy section of our website.
Our Policies Center has been rewritten so that it’s clear and easy to understand. Users can filter each policy by user type (such as parent or test taker) and geographic location to find the most relevant information on when, where, how, and why their data is collected and stored.
Further, we have implemented an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) that is available within the Policies Center. The AUP ensures our end users are utilizing our products and services in an appropriate and ethical manner. It is now mandatory for all authorized institution representatives to agree to this AUP before using any of our products or services.
Ethical Product Development
Proctorio is also committed to building its products ethically by identifying and addressing issues related to potential bias.
In September 2020 Proctorio partnered with BABL AI, a bias research consultancy that studies the ethical production and deployment of machine learning to audit and help in the development of our next generation of face-detection algorithms. Proctorio’s on-going goal is to identify and remediate areas of potential bias and improve the quality of our product.
As of Spring 2021, we implemented the latest version of our face-detection algorithm with BABL AI’s guidance and support.
We are pleased to report that BABL AI’s analysis of Proctorio’s latest face-detection models “found no measurable (statistically significant) bias”. BABL AI’s analysis is available to our partners by their designated Success Managers.
We added additional accommodation features that allow institution representatives to customize exam settings on a per-user basis. It is easy to enable pre-populated accommodations for test takers. These accommodations and/or custom settings can be administered per exam or centrally. When handled centrally, Proctorio provides the option to hide potentially private or sensitive disclosure of the accommodation to the exam administrator. To implement these updates successfully, we partnered with the nonprofit accessibility consultancy, MyBlindSpot, to provide accessibility related recommendations and testing. In addition to this, a human support representative is always available to offer real-time, direct assistance to test-takers with any need.
Our exam set-up has been updated to provide guidance and alerts to exam administrators of the possible impacts enabling certain settings may have on test takers of varying levels of ability or who may experience exam anxiety.
Enhancing our products and educating our users on how to best utilize our platform is an ongoing journey. We know that the steps we have taken in the last year are just the beginning. We aim to continue to develop ourselves to best serve our partnered institutions, their staff members, and our users.