The Impact of Student Surveillance Software

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SEO Title: Balancing Privacy and Security: The Impact of Student Surveillance Software. Bc proxy account ax 2019
SEO Title: Balancing Privacy and Security: The Impact of Student Surveillance Software. Bc proxy account ax 2019

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the years after, educational institutions worldwide faced an unprecedented challenge: how to maintain academic integrity and ensure the safety of students and staff in the face of remote learning and limited campus access. As schools turned to online instruction and examinations, concerns over cheating and health monitoring surged, leading to the implementation of various surveillance technologies. Unfortunately, these measures have raised ethical questions and privacy concerns that may persist long after the pandemic subsides.

The Rise of Online Proctoring: Ensuring Academic Integrity in a Virtual World

Uncovering Cheating: The Case of Medical Students at Dartmouth University

Recently, ten medical students at Dartmouth University were embroiled in a cheating scandal after an algorithm flagged their behavior during exams. The university’s use of monitoring software like Canvas sparked controversy, as students and faculty protested against the lack of transparency regarding how cheating was determined. This incident underscores the growing adoption of online proctoring methods across higher education institutions, with concerns over the accuracy and privacy implications of such technology.

Privacy vs. Surveillance: The Dilemma for Students

While online proctoring tools offer a means to uphold academic integrity, they also encroach upon students’ privacy rights. Programs like Respondus employ invasive measures, such as room scans and eye tracking, raising concerns about the erosion of personal privacy and autonomy. Moreover, the mandatory nature of these surveillance measures leaves students with no option to opt-out, creating a coercive environment where compliance is necessary for academic progression.

Health Tracking on Campus: Mitigating Risks Amidst the Pandemic

BioButton: A Solution for Campus Health Monitoring

As campuses grapple with the challenge of maintaining safety protocols amidst the pandemic, innovative solutions like the BioButton have emerged. Oakland University’s adoption of this wearable device demonstrates a proactive approach to monitoring students’ vital signs and identifying potential Covid-19 symptoms. By leveraging technology to track health metrics, universities aim to create safer environments for both students and staff, albeit with implications for privacy and personal autonomy.

The Pitfalls of Surveillance: Long-Term Implications and Ethical Concerns

Institutionalizing Surveillance: The Challenge of Reversibility

One of the primary concerns surrounding the proliferation of surveillance technology in education is its permanence. Once established, surveillance practices are challenging to dismantle, potentially normalizing intrusive monitoring and eroding trust between institutions and students. As surveillance becomes ingrained in academic culture, it may reshape student behavior and attitudes towards privacy, perpetuating a cycle of surveillance and compliance.

Psychological Impact: Stress and Anxiety in the Surveillance Society

Beyond the logistical challenges, the prevalence of surveillance technologies on campus carries psychological consequences for students. Constant reminders of being monitored can contribute to heightened stress and anxiety, exacerbating the already demanding academic environment. As students navigate a landscape of increased scrutiny, maintaining mental well-being becomes paramount, necessitating a balance between security measures and individual freedoms.

Conclusion: Striking a Balance Between Security and Privacy

In the age of remote learning and heightened health concerns, educational institutions face a delicate balancing act between security imperatives and respect for privacy rights. While surveillance technologies offer tools to uphold academic integrity and mitigate health risks, they also pose significant ethical and psychological challenges. As we chart a course forward, it’s essential to engage in thoughtful dialogue and critical reflection on the implications of surveillance in education, ensuring that our pursuit of safety does not come at the expense of individual autonomy and dignity.


Many students express discomfort and resentment towards surveillance measures, citing concerns over privacy invasion and the potential for algorithmic bias.


Yes, with proper safeguards and transparency measures in place, surveillance technologies can be employed responsibly to uphold academic standards while respecting individual rights.


The normalization of surveillance practices may have lasting effects on student attitudes towards privacy and authority, shaping societal norms around surveillance and compliance.


Educators can explore alternative assessment methods, such as project-based assignments and open-book exams, that prioritize critical thinking and creativity over strict monitoring.

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