Here’s a quick look at how Honorlock protects student privacy and secures data:
- We don’t sell or share student data
- Our proctoring software doesn’t have access to cell phones
- Students aren’t watched the entire time
- We don’t use face recognition
- We don’t have access to the student’s network
- Honorlock is hosted in the cloud through Amazon Web Services
- We don’t have access to the webcam or microphone after the exam ends
- No extra accounts or passwords are needed
- Students can easily delete Honorlock after the proctored exam is over
- Your institution owns the data, not Honorlock
- Honorlock is compliant with data privacy standards like FERPA
- Our test proctors are trained to follow data privacy compliance standards
- We only gather student data required to proctor the exam
Data security and student privacy in higher education are especially important topics with the growth of online learning and remote testing.
Students and academic institutions have expectations about how their privacy is protected – and for good reason. In fact, a 2020 study by EDUCAUSE1 found that Privacy was the 2nd most important factor related to IT for higher education leaders.
To provide transparency around how Honorlock protects student privacy and secures data, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of important information to help answer any questions from students, faculty, and institutions.
We want you to know that we take data security and privacy seriously and we’re committed to providing a testing environment that’s secure and non-intrusive – one that supports and empowers students and faculty while protecting academic integrity.
Honorlock data security and student privacy
Honorlock doesn’t sell student data
Pretty simple: we don’t sell or monetize student data.
Our online proctoring software doesn’t have access to cell phones
A 2021 Inside Higher Ed and College Pulse study2 found that 58% of students are somewhat concerned about how apps on their cell phones handle their data.
Honorlock doesn’t have access to cell phones or secondary devices — not before, during, or after the proctored exam.
We don’t use any online proctoring software or technology to access cell phones or secondary devices used during the proctored exam session.
Can Honorlock detect phone use?
Our online proctoring solution can detect when phones and other devices are being used to search for test bank content during an exam. We gather information based on the websites visited – not via the phone. If the student isn’t using their phone to access test answers on homework help sites, they should have no concerns.
Honorlock doesn’t watch students the entire time
Let’s face it, having a live proctor’s face on the screen watching the student during the entire exam is distracting (and creepy).
With Honorlock, a live proctor only intervenes if the test proctoring software detects potential dishonesty. When the proctor is alerted, they can review the behavior and enter the exam session via chat to help the student get back on track. All of this makes for a much less invasive testing experience.
Our proctors are trained to support students and reduce exam anxiety
We want interactions between students and remote proctors to be a positive experience that helps students – not a distraction that adds more stress. Our full-time online proctoring team was trained by a nationally certified counselor and educator on supporting students during moments of exam anxiety. When our proctors intervene, the goal is to help support students successfully complete their exams, not to catch cheating.
Adding to this, Honorlock conducted a student survey with the University of North Alabama to learn more about the causes of student exam anxiety and how our approach to online proctoring can help reduce anxiety.
We found that Honorlock helped reduce exam anxiety and that students who interacted with one of our remote proctors indicated that the proctor helped reduce their exam anxiety.
“The proctor popping in was different than I expected – in a positive way. I imagined them being more strict. I felt that the proctor was helpful and a lot less intimidating than I thought.” – Student quote in a post-exam interview
We don’t use face recognition
Honorlock doesn’t use face recognition. Our proctoring software uses face detection.
There are significant differences between the two.
What’s the difference between face detection and face recognition?
- Face detection means detecting that a face is present on the video or image.
- Face recognition goes way beyond facial detection.
- It uses biometric technology that recognizes when a human face is present AND attempts to establish whose face it is.
Honorlock’s face detection only detects a clear human face in the webcam.
Honorlock’s facial detection technology does not:
- Use biometrics
- Identify and match the face to any database
- Store facial elements
We don’t have access to the student’s home network
The online proctoring software doesn’t have access to network communications which means we don’t have access to your local or home network.
We only monitor the quality of the student’s internet connection. This is to ensure its quality and to document the network connection stability during the proctored exam to troubleshoot situations when the test-takers internet connection is unstable.
Honorlock is hosted in the cloud through Amazon Web Services
Cloud hosting with AWS provides comprehensive data security capabilities for Honorlock. Stored data is encrypted and secured using industry standards with AES-256 block encryption.
We don’t have access to the webcam or microphone after the exam
Once a student completes the online proctored exam, our access to the screen and webcam ends.
No extra accounts or passwords are needed
Thanks to our direct LMS integration, Honorlock doesn’t require an extra account or password.
This LMS integration with Honorlock means that data is exchanged securely between the proctoring software and your LMS only.
Students can delete and remove Honorlock after the proctored exam is over
It only takes a few seconds to delete Honorlock’s Chrome extension. Students can navigate to the extension in the Chrome toolbar and remove it.
As an AWS partner, Honorlock follows federal NIST 800-88 guidelines for proof of data/drive destruction.
We don’t own school data
Honorlock doesn’t own the data; we only hold the data for the institution.
Honorlock has defined data retention periods of 12 months, after which all student-related data is automatically purged unless the school requests an extension of a particular student’s data related to an Academic Integrity case. Upon request from the school, they can extend the data retention of a student’s data up to an additional 12 months.
It’s just as easy to install for the next exam; students can add the extension in about 30 seconds.
Committed to maintaining compliance with state and federal data privacy laws and regulations
Certain student information and records are covered by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Institutions protect the information and records in accordance with FERPA privacy rights and other applicable laws. Honorlock is prohibited from using student data in any way except to carry out online exam proctoring services. The information transmitted belongs to each school.
Our test proctors are trained to follow data privacy compliance standards
All Honorlock test proctors are trained related to the United States Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) 34 CFR 99 and will abide by FERPA at all times in receiving, storing, and distributing Personal Identifiable Information (PII).
We only collect student data required to proctor exams
We only collect student data required to proctor the online exam and most of it is already available in the LMS. This information is used to verify identity and protect integrity.
Here’s the student data we collect:
- IP address through the Chrome extension
- Name and email address from the LMS
- During the test, we capture a screen recording and a webcam recording
- A photo of the student and student ID if ID verification is enabled by the instructor or institution
Watch this one minute video that covers how Honorlock protects student privacy.
What is Honorlock?
We make online proctoring simple, secure, and human. Our online proctoring services combine the benefits of AI test monitoring software with those of live remote proctors.
This human-centric approach to online proctoring helps bring integrity, humanity, confidence, and positive outcomes to online testing.
Our purpose is to create a better testing experience that supports and empowers faculty and students – not simply to prevent cheating. When you create a fair and equitable test environment that builds confidence and protects academic integrity, everyone wins.
How does Honorlock work?
Our proctoring software monitors each student’s exam session and alerts a live, remote proctor if it detects any potential problems.
This provides the remote proctor with the opportunity to intervene and help the student get back on track.
Our remote proctoring services are convenient and easy to use for instructors and students. Instructors can quickly create proctored exams in the LMS like they already do, choose the proctoring features, and then review actionable exam reports. And it’s just as simple for students – they simply log into the LMS, verify their identity, and begin the exam like they’re accustomed to.
In addition, our proctoring services protect exams in a variety of ways such as:
- Detecting cell phone use
- Reducing the number of test questions and answers available on unauthorized homework help sites
- Detecting voices and other sounds
- Using video proctoring for identity verification, room scanning, and monitoring behavior
Other benefits of Honorlock remote proctoring:
- 24/7 support is available to students and faculty
- Students can take the proctored exams anytime they’re ready – 24/7/365
- The direct LMS integration means faculty and students will use a platform they’re already familiar with
- Exam results are quickly available within the LMS
Want to see Honorlock in action? Schedule a demo.
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1Susan Grajek and the 2019–2020 EDUCAUSE IT Issues Panel, “Top 10 IT Issues, 2020: The Drive to Digital Transformation Begins,” EDUCAUSE Review Special Report, January 27, 2020.
2How to protect student data privacy in college, Inside Higher Ed and College Pulse, September 14, 2021.