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Is it legal for a university to force students to install an application and utilise it for online examinations when the service the university itself is using cannot guarantee our information will not be stolen.

Here is some details highlighting how it works:

How the online exam is likely to work if the company mentioned in the video below is running it:

The service they use will require you to connect to a call centre which is offshore (India).

You will need to show the room you are conducting the exam in (e.g open draws, under you, the roof etc to the discretion of the supervisor)

Your webcam and audio will be recorded.

Your eye movements will be recorded in order to ensure you aren't cheating (“We can identify behaviour synonymous with cheating, like turning the head or eye movements,”

This is a quote from said companies privacy policy:

"As a result, while we strive to protect your personally identifiable information, we cannot guarantee that it will be 100% secure. Your transmission of your data to our Site thus is done entirely at your own risk."

Can the university really force us to do all this?

Thanks

  • The real question is whether you can force the university to allow you to take the exam without these measures in place, and the answer to that one is probably no - so isnt this question moot? Unless you are purely looking for an opinion on the law in question of course rather than a practical answer. – Moo Apr 8 at 19:45
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No

It is entirely up to you to agree to this.

If you don’t, the University is free to assign you a failing mark. Many Australian universities have announced that a failing mark will not be recorded on academic records - if your university is one of these then there will be no record of your failure.

From a contract law perspective, you would not be entitled to a refund of fees because there has not been a “complete failure of consideration” by the University- they have still provided the service they were contracted albeit in a different form from normal. I doubt that there is even a breach of contract because the contract is probably not specific about how students are assessed.

If you do and your privacy is breached, you can make a complaint to the privacy commissioner. Australian law does not give you a right to sue directly for privacy breaches.

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