COVID’s Impact On Student Privacy Awareness And Advocacy

Concurrent Session 4
Streamed Session

Watch This Session

Brief Abstract

We have seen more student privacy concerns in the last six months than in the last 12 years combined. In this session, we will outline four reasons we believe students have become more vocal about privacy, considerations for universities and colleges to address, and what we have learned from our own experience.


Ashley Norris, PhD Ashley has spent the past 13 years in higher education as both a faculty member and administrator across major institutions such as University of Alabama, Samford university and most recently, University of Phoenix in which she served as the Dean of Programmatic Accreditation and Regulatory Affairs. She has led thought leadership on ethics and integrity in education and continues to spearhead those efforts for ProctorU’s key initiatives on academic integrity. She also leads academic partnerships and works with organizations and institutions on developing policies, best practices and procedures to support their innovation and accreditation needs.

Extended Abstract

In the 12 years we have been proctoring online exams, students have always been concerned about privacy. However, within the last six months, we have seen a drastic increase in student privacy concerns in correlation with the rapid migration to online learning and assessment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While online proctoring companies have been especially targeted for their perceived intrusiveness, a number of edtech companies have seen a similar increase in privacy inquiries.

In this session, Dr. Ashley Norris will go into detail about the following four reasons students have become more vocal in their privacy concerns:

  1. Students’ perceived lack of choice in the method of learning and assessment paired with the rapid change mid-semester in Spring 2020
  2. Recent changes in privacy laws (specifically in the EU/EEA and California)
  3. Misinformation being spread as fact, heightened by negative media surrounding privacy
  4. Current culture of student activism

Dr. Norris will review several things we have identified for universities and colleges to consider or address as part of a solution to this trending concern. Additionally, we will provide guidance and examples for how to address (and in some cases, how not to address) specific situations based on what we have learned through our own experience.