I had debated whether to weigh in on the recent Ohio court case about room scanning, initially planning to wait until the case was closed, but an email marketing campaign I received changed my mind. There are some important clarifications about the case that are important for colleges and universities to understand.

The Case and Coverage

A student at Cleveland State University (CSU) sued the school for violating his privacy due to his professor’s usage of room scanning during an online test in General Chemistry II in the spring of 2021. The judge ruled that CSU violated the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable government searches and seizures by requiring him to use his webcam to show whether there were any materials available for cheating purposes, with the school using Honorlock to store the video. See EdSurge and HigherEd Dive for more thorough descriptions of the case, and see the Chronicle for commentary from legal professionals.

But make sure to ignore the headline and intro paragraph at the Chronicle, which are wrong:


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