On Friday, local news blog Sikkom reported about a data breach during online exams at Hanze UAS. The data breach allowed strangers to enter the surveillance area and watch students make exams. What do students and teachers think about this data breach?
Marketing management student Sebastian heard about the news when he received an email from Hanze UAS. ‘We were assured before our exams that there would be no issues with privacy and that this surveillance would only be seen by the invigilator. I have made several exams now with online surveillance, maybe some stranger entered the online room that I was in without anyone noticing.’
‘Obviously no one wants to be spied on during exams, especially when you look like you just came out of bed’
Another student, Jade Klaassens, who studies Business, already saw the news on Sikkom. ‘I was surprised. I felt like everything had been handled in the right way when it came to online exams, but after reading the article, I have become a little more vigilant. Because obviously no one wants to be spied on during exams. Especially when you look like you just came out of bed.’
A teachers’ perspective
The students weren’t the only people shocked by the data breach. Lecturer Miss Jessen was shocked. ‘The part I find most worrisome is that the privacy of the students wasn’t guaranteed. But I believe neither the students nor Hanze are really responsible for the data breach: it was the system.’
The students’ perspective
Student Kimberly finds the not-knowing particularly bad. ‘The fact that I don’t know how people could enter the rooms and how the teachers didn’t notice that there were strangers in the group is the worst part for me’.
‘I saw that Hanze mainly puts the responsibility with us students, even though they organized it this way’
Jade Klaassens didn’t really like the way Hanze reacted to the breach. ‘When I read the article, I saw that Hanze mainly puts the responsibility with us students, even though they organized it this way. No matter what, Hanze could have known that these links would be sent to fellow students, when someone can’t reach their email or can’t find the link, for instance. But the worst part of it all is that you can see that with one additional adjustment on Blackboard this entire data breach could have been prevented. That just makes it all look a little clumsy.’
For the future of online exams, Jessen refers to a message the Executive Board emailed to everyone. ‘In the message, Hanze says they want to assure the system is safe before we will all use it again. Privacy will be a priority.’
‘I have taken several exams with online surveillance and my student ID was only checked once’
However, the students have more worries about the surveillance of the exams. Sebastian says ‘I have had issues with the online surveillance, and so did some of my friends. In the article on Sikkom, Hanze mentions that the invigilator was there to check everyone’s student ID and make sure they were actually supposed to take the exam. But I have taken several exams with online surveillance and my student ID was only checked once. And around me I hear similar stories from other students.’