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Proctoring Tool Failed to Recognize Dark Skin, Students Say

April 6, 2021
 
 

The University of Wisconsin at Madison has changed how it uses exam proctoring software Honorlock in response to complaints that the software failed to recognize the faces of students with darker skin tones, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

Three UW Madison students complained that their exams were erroneously paused because the Honorlock software failed to register their faces because of their skin tones. In response, the university disabled an optional exam pause feature March 11.

A representative for Honorlock disputed that the issue was related to skin tone, suggesting that the students were looking down or away from the webcam during their exam.

“Our contacts at UW Madison, and all our other customers, have been satisfied with our service and have not expressed any incidents with students that match this claim,” said Tess Mitchell, spokesperson for Honorlock, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

“We’re disappointed that someone would attempt to make this connection and we have no indication that it is a valid concern,” Mitchell said.

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