Fight for the Future is thrilled to learn of today’s major victory over invasive student surveillance in Cleveland.
The following statement can be attributed to Lia Holland (they/she), Campaigns and Communications Director at Fight for the Future:
“As the creators of BanEproctoring.com, we applaud Cleveland State University student Aaron Ogletree for suing to halt the invasive and inappropriate “room scans” his university required in order to complete a chemistry test. Such webcam room scans—which often force the student to film their laps and other parts of their bodies in addition to their bedrooms—are a standard feature of eproctoring software. Today, a federal judge in the Northern District of Ohio rightly ruled that these “room scans” constitute unreasonable searches under the Fourth Amendment.
Eproctoring software companies took advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to peddle invasive and often racist software that doesn’t actually work. Schools around the world spent millions to purchase such preventative measures in the name of so-called academic integrity—treating students as guilty until they were proven innocent.
Hundreds of thousands of students signed petitions against the gross invasion of their privacy these apps represented, yet those students continued to be treated as threats, not as people. To this day, eproctoring vendors profit off of unmitigated data collection and abuse their access to young people’s private environments. And, all too often, schools require eproctoring software with no concern for how it impacts students of color, neurodivergent students, and low income students.
Because Cleveland State was unwilling to admit that they had bought a snake-oil software product that harms students, especially their most vulnerable students, Aaron Ogletree had to sue. Let Aaron’s victory be a warning for other universities that continue to insist on forcing such abusive software on their students. We call on all institutions of higher learning to ban not only room scans, but invasive and discriminatory eproctoring software once and for all!”