A student at Northwestern University is suing the institution for violating an Illinois law on biometric information privacy.
The lawsuit, filed in January, accuses the Evanston, Illinois, university of capturing and storing students’ biometric identifiers through online test proctoring tools, the Daily Northwestern reported last week.
The university reportedly collects data — including facial images, keystroke patterns, eye movements and video and audio recordings — through the online proctoring software Respondus and Examity, which the university uses to prevent students for cheating during exams. The lawsuit claims the university’s collection and retention of that biometric data is a violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act of 2008, which requires companies and institutions to first obtain explicit consent from users.
The complaint alleges the university owns the biometric data collected by the online proctoring software and is not giving students a “meaningful choice” on the collection and use of the data.