Proctorio denies unauthorized access to data

Proctorio’s CEO Mike Olsen did not have unauthorized access to the chat log of a Canadian student. The company says that its employees never have access to data stored during an online exam. The student could be identified on the basis of information he shared on Reddit. Olsen privately approached the student and asked him whether he needed extra help. The student said that he had experienced technical problems during an online exam and that he did not receive any support from Proctorio’s helpdesk.

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Last week, Education & Student Affairs director Patrick Groothuis told Cursor that he would ask Proctorio for clarification about a privacy issue in which Mike Olsen, the company’s CEO, was supposedly involved. Groothuis has now sent Cursor a message he received from Filip Janic, relationship manager at Proctorio, in response to his request.

According to Janic, a student at the University of British Columbia sought contact with Proctorio’s helpdesk on 10 June because he had run into some technical problems during his online exam. On 26 June, the student shared a screenshot on online forum Reddit of his online chat with Proctorio’s helpdesk employee, whose name was also mentioned, with the added remark that this person never responded to the request he had made on 10 June.

Thorough investigation

When Proctorio saw the post on Reddit, it immediately renewed its offer to support the student, Janic says. At around the same time, another student added the Proctorio CEO to the online discussion to ask Olsen what exactly had happened as far as not offering support is concerned. According to Janic, Olsen then sent an email to Proctorio’s helpdesk and social media team in which he asked them to carry out a thorough investigation into the matter.

A transcript of the entire dialogue between the Canadian student and the helpdesk employee could be traced, based on what the student had posted on Reddit. It showed that the employee had indeed helped the student with the technical problems he was faced with on 10 June. The employee, Janic says, made a ‘heavily censored’ version of that dialogue. Proctorio’s social media in response placed a post on Reddit that only contained the employee’s answers and a few time indications.


At the same time, Olsen privately asked the student whether he still needed help. Janic says that the student replied with apologies and that he assured Olsen that the issue had been resolved by now, in consultation with his professor. Believing that the matter had been solved to everyone’s satisfaction, Proctorio’s post was deleted from Reddit.

Nevertheless, a part of that post appeared online again that same evening, placed by someone who Janic says has harassed Proctorio before. However, that post lacked the context in which the matter had occurred. This once again led to commotion about something that had in fact been solved already, Janic says.

Proctorio’s relationship manager concludes his message by stating what Groothuis had already pointed out on Friday as well. ‘Privacy of students is Proctorio’s top priority. We know that students, lecturers and staff members at over eight hundred institutions worldwide are confident that we take their privacy seriously.”

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