FAQ Question

    My instructor is using Honorlock, but what about the privacy of my data?

Answered By: Bill Harrison
Last Updated: Sep 18, 2019     Views: 152

Honorlock is a cloud-based proctoring solution, which has successfully completed the Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 Type 1 audit, US Privacy Shield compliance, and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) readiness. The audit affirms that Honorlock’s information security practices, policies, procedures, and operations meet the SOC 2 standards for security, availability, and confidentiality. Honorlock met or exceeded the industry-leading standard in all areas.

Where does Honorlock store student data?

  • Honorlock uses an encrypted and secured connection during the exam. All videos and photos are stored in Honorlock’s platform. They run their system in a secure, private cloud within Amazon’s AWS cloud platform. 

How long is student data stored?

  • 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.

How is student data secured and protected?

  • All data, including photos and video, is stored in an encrypted format on isolated storage systems within Honorlock’s private cloud in Amazon’s AWS. They are SOC 2 Type 1, US Privacy Shield and GDPR complaint. Please see link at the bottom.

Who has access to student data?

  • Only key staff, such as their proctoring team, within Honorlock will have access to student data and only on a need-to-know basis. For example, the proctoring team will only have access to student data while the student’s exam is in progress. Some key management will also have access in order to provide quality control and policy guidance to proctoring staff.

Who monitors the test, AI or live proctored? Who reviews the flags?

  • The AI looks at various things and if something drastic is flagged, then the live proctor is notified and can pop in to the test. However, the live proctor is not watching the entire exam; they're only watching for those flags. There is no live person watching the student the entire length of the exam. The live proctor is just monitoring the flags. It is left to the instructor to determine if cheating has occurred. If the proctor pops in, it is captured as part of the recording. A new feature being released shortly will also provide a log for instructor view of any chat a student has with support.

Are the proctors vetted and certified?

  • Proctors hired through Honorlock are located in the state of Florida. They must go through background checks and certification processes. 

What data is tracked/recorded from the extension, and how it is handled?

  • The Chrome extension allows Honorlock to interact with the student and the exam content during the exam. This includes launching the webcam window and interacting with student behavior within the exam. During the exam, the following data is captured, analyzed, and stored:
    • Webcam video, including audio
    • Recording of desktop activity
    • Student information presented by the LMS, such as student name, course number, exam name, etc.
    • Pages visited during the exam, including exam pages itself, and any other websites visited during the exam
    • Specific student behavior that may indicate academic dishonesty, such as copy/paste into search engines
  • Webcam and audio analysis has certain AI capabilities built in, such as detecting the presence of zero, one, or more faces in the camera, one or more voices, etc. This AI will trigger a member of our proctoring team to review the exam session to determine if additional action is necessary remediate any academic integrity issues. Proctors do not make the final determination of academic integrity; this is decided by the faculty member.

How does the device detection work? 

  • The Honorlock Chrome extension does not get access to the student’s phone, their network, or even their computer. It simply does not have that capability as it is essentially impossible. Their Multi-Device Detection is a patented process that is completely driven by human behavior and mechanism Honorlock has put in place to detect that behavior. Being that it's a patented process, that patent is available to the public: US Patent 9881516B1. In essence, when an instructor enables Honorlock for an exam, Honorlock will capture the questions from the exam and search the internet for those questions on other websites. Honorlock then issue DMCA takedown notices of those questions to have them removed. Honorlock then puts the questions (without the answers) onto a series of websites owned and operated by Honorlock. When a student searches the interent for a question, even with a second device, they have increased the chances of the student landing on a website owned by Honorlcok. When that happens, Honorlock uses an algorithm to match the student’s visit on the website to the student’s exam session.