The lawsuit, a copy of which the student newspaper The DePaulia posted, claims the university used the tool to collect students’ biometric data without their consent -- a possible violation of Illinois state law.
“Through Respondus Monitor, DePaul collects, captures and stores everything from a student’s facial features to their voice through a web portal accessed through the student’s personal device,” the lawsuit said. “Using the Respondus Monitor tool, DePaul is able to collect and aggregate information on all aspects of a student’s life.”
According to an April 2020 poll by higher ed IT membership organization Educause, many institutions use online or remote proctoring services, though there are concerns about cost and student privacy. In the Educause poll, Respondus was by far the most widely used proctoring product among respondents.
Under privacy principles listed by Respondus on its website, the company says it strives to collect as little personal information as possible. “We aim to collect only the personal information needed to ensure we can offer excellent products and services,” the website says.
A DePaul spokesperson told Inside Higher Ed the university does not comment on pending litigation.
Attribution in this story has been updated, and comment from DePaul University has been added.