Honorlock may be going down, and it rightfully should

From its invasion of privacy and erosion of trust to its potential for false positives, Honorlock poses numerous challenges for college students. | Via honorlock.com

Ariana Rodriguez | Staff Writer

Honorlock has been prevalent in many courses over the past few years at FIU and as an anti-cheat system, it does its job. While the intentions behind Honorlock are noble, the implementation of this proctoring software comes with significant drawbacks. 

One of the primary issues with Honorlock lies in its invasion of privacy. The software requires students to grant access to their webcam, microphone, and screen during examinations– essentially turning their personal devices into surveillance tools. 

This intrusive level of monitoring not only infringes upon students’ privacy rights but also creates a pervasive atmosphere of distrust between students and faculty. 

The constant scrutiny and surveillance can contribute to heightened levels of stress and anxiety, as students feel as though they are under constant surveillance, even in the privacy of their own homes.

According to a recent survey conducted by SGA, students would much rather schedule an in-person exam than have software monitoring them inside their own home.

Honorlock’s approach to exam proctoring is not perfect, which can result in false positives and technical glitches. The software relies on algorithms to detect suspicious behavior, such as eye movements or background noise, which may incorrectly flag innocent actions as signs of cheating. 

Especially students who may need to stimulate their body in order to focus whether it’s  shaking their leg, twiddling thumbs, tapping or overall getting distracted during the exam, it can be detrimental to their score.

Then they’re are the obvious, technical issues that can occur whether it’s the software, poor internet connectivity or compatibility issues with certain devices, causing an unfair disadvantage for students. 

All of these issues can lead to unwarranted accusations and disciplinary actions against students who have done nothing wrong.

Wouldn’t it suck if your huge midterm you spent weeks on goes down the drain because there was a power outage? Doesn’t matter if you dorm or live off campus, the internet isn’t exactly reliable.

The use of Honorlock introduces a layer of unpredictability and unfairness into the examination process which undermines the validity and reliability of the assessment.

The implementation of Honorlock can exacerbate existing inequalities within the education system. Not all students have access to high-speed internet, reliable devices or distraction-free environments to take exams. 

For students from marginalized backgrounds or low-income households, the reliance on remote proctoring software can pose significant barriers to academic success. The financial burden of purchasing webcams or upgrading devices to meet Honorlock’s requirements may place an undue burden on students who are already struggling to afford their education. 

Between purchasing wildly expensive books and paying for a webcam, students shouldn’t have another burden to deal with.

And because of that, the use of Honorlock may inadvertently widen the gap between privileged and disadvantaged students, further perpetuating inequities within the education system.

From its invasion of privacy and erosion of trust to its potential for false positives, Honorlock poses numerous challenges for college students. 

Ultimately, the goal should be to create an educational environment that fosters trust, integrity and equitable access to learning opportunities for all students.


The opinions presented on this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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