Software designed to stop students cheating while taking exams at home during the coronavirus lockdown did not discriminate against a black student after all, the Dutch human rights council said on Tuesday.
The case was taken to the council by VU master’s student Robin Pocornie who said she had faced discrimination because the proctoring software did not recognise her when she tried to log in, possibly because of her black skin.
The council found in favour of Pocornie in a preliminary response but now says the studend did not have more problems with the system than other students.
“The fact it took her longer to verify herself and she had to restart the exam… was due to facts which were unconnected with skin colour… such as a poor internet connection or wearing glassses,” the council said.
It did, however, criticise the university for not handling her discrimination complaint carefully enough.
Pocornie said she had tried repeatedly on different occasions to log in to the system and several times was not allowed to answer the questions. Instead the software made comments such as ‘room too dark’ or ‘face not found’. The software did work when she shone a lamp directly on her face.
Pocornie said she had expected a different ruling and that she is disappointed the council did not make a statement about possible discrimination via anti-cheating software in general.
“The facts remain,” she told Nu.nl. “I had to shine a light in my face while I did my exams, but my white fellow students did not have to.”
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