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Stephen L. Carter

That Online Test Just May Be Unconstitutional

Software that monitors students may be a violation of the Fourth Amendment’s right to be free of unreasonable search.

A violation of the Fourth Amendment?

A violation of the Fourth Amendment?

Photographer: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images Europe

Since the start of the pandemic, online learning has become far more common — and so have online examinations. Typically, the examination software also proctors the test, observing with the student’s own camera. Does this process violate the Constitution?

A federal judge in Ohio decided last week that at least in some circumstances, the answer is yes. The court’s impeccable reasoning should give us pause about the project of online proctoring.