Online exam proctoring companies like ProctorU “have seen a significant uptick in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused institutions to move exams online. This has led to significant privacy implications for students”; specifically, three students filed a class-action complaint on Friday in the Central District of Illinois against ProctorU for alleged biometric violations, particularly after a data breach.
According to the complaint, ProctorU “develops, owns, and operates an eponymous online proctoring software service that collects biometric information,” in violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). The plaintiffs claimed that ProctorU engaged in illegal actions by “collecting, storing and using” the plaintiffs’ and putative class’s biometric identifiers and biometric information (collectively referred to as biometrics). In particular, the plaintiffs alleged that ProctorU “failed to provide the requisite data retention and destruction policies, and failed to properly ‘store, transmit, and protect from disclosure’ these biometrics in direct violation of BIPA.”
According to the complaint, the plaintiffs were taking exams online such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Law School Admission Test (LSAT) or online exams with University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIC).
The putative class consists of: “all Illinois residents who used ProctorU to take an exam online and ( ) who had their facial geometry collect, captured, received, or otherwise obtained and/stored by Defendant.” The plaintiffs also seek to represent a TOEFL subclass, UIC subclass, GRE subclass, and LSAT subclass, each with a different Class Period.
The plaintiffs seek certification of the classes and for the plaintiffs and their counsel to represent the classes; declaratory judgment in their favor; an award for damages; prejudgment interest; restitution and other monetary relief; an award for costs and fees; and other relief.