ORG Edinburgh: Surveillance Technology in Higher Education

Thursday 4 February 2021 17:00 GMT

View the recording here.

In our first event as the Digital Rights Society at Edinburgh University, we’ll be joined by Hannah Smethurst, researcher in privacy and educational tech at Newcastle Law School, to discuss the role of surveillance technology in higher education.

Due to the transition to online teaching in recent years, and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, learning analytics and e-proctoring tools have grown in popularity in universities. However, these tools are often problematic: they discriminate (inadvertently or otherwise) by skin tone, disability and socio-economic status. Whether they are effective at all is heavily in dispute.

The University of Edinburgh makes use of these tools as well. As the Digital Rights Society, we investigated one specific feature, the Microsoft Office Productivity Score, and what its use means for the university’s students.