A proposed class action alleges Bradley University has unlawfully collected students’ biometric information by way of a remote exam proctoring tool without first obtaining consent to do so or publishing disclosures regarding its data retention policy.
According to the 22-page lawsuit, Bradley’s use of the Respondus Monitor proctoring tool for students taking online exams amounts to a violation of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), a law that imposes strict requirements on entities in the state who collect, capture and store biometric information such as fingerprints, facial geometry and voiceprints.
The privacy case alleges students who have taken online exams using the Respondus Monitor tool while the Peoria, Illinois school has held classes remotely during the coronavirus pandemic have had “vast amounts” of their biometrics, including facial geometries, keystroke patterns, eye and gaze monitoring data, and camera and microphone recordings, collected without their consent and retained for an unknown period of time due to Bradley’s failure to meet the BIPA’s requirements.
The lawsuit stresses that biometric information is unlike other unique identifiers in that it cannot be changed or replaced if compromised, meaning an individual whose data is collected by private entities may face an increased risk of identity theft and fraud. Per the case, the BIPA was designed to protect Illinois citizens against such “irreparable privacy harms.”
The lawsuit, which echoes a similar suit over DePaul University’s allegedly unlawful use of the Respondus proctoring tool, looks to cover all Bradley University students in Illinois who took an assessment using the Respondus Monitor at any time during the past five years and until January 20, 2021.
Initially filed in Peoria County, Illinois Circuit Court, the case has since been removed to the state’s Central District Court.
Get class action lawsuit news sent to your inbox – sign up for ClassAction.org’s newsletter here.