Future of Privacy Forum contributor Olga Garcia-Kaplan recently contributed an opinion piece to The74 about the privacy implications of virtual proctoring and online testing during the COVID-19 pandemic. A New Jersey public school parent, Garcia-Kaplan is a student data privacy advocate with over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry, managing regulatory requirements and submissions to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
An excerpt of the op-ed is appended below, and you can view the full piece here.
Students across the world have had to adapt to a new way of learning due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, as the school year comes to a close, they are also adapting to a new way of being evaluated: taking tests online. Advanced Placement exams were recently administered virtually, with widespread glitches, and colleges and school districts are looking to move their exams online for next semester, making testing — stressful enough during normal times — even more so.
I have children in elementary, middle and high school, and I have watched each of them deal with the anxiety of this new school environment over the past few months. I have also listened to their concerns and questions about online learning and privacy while using various platforms to wrap up the school year from home.
What data are being collected about them? Who’s looking at their online browsing history? What about their Google searches? Who gets to see this information, and what do they do with it?
Privacy and security considerations are a key part of my day job, so my kids are naturally a little more aware of some of these issues than others, but these concerns are rampant among their friends and classmates as well.
When it comes to online testing and virtual proctoring, students should have the right to review and understand what data are being collected and why.