UBC staff member Ian Linkletter is speaking out after remote exam invigilation company Proctorio sued him in September.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Linkletter said he would fight the lawsuit and alleged that Proctorio’s filing constitutes a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP).
Proctorio sued Linkletter, a UBC learning technology specialist, after he tweeted links to YouTube videos on Proctorio’s website in August that the company called “confidential and proprietary.”
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association defines SLAPPs as a tool used to silence public critics, “generally not to win a case.”
“Proctorio’s lawsuit against me is groundless and brought for the sole purpose of silencing me. They claim breach of confidence for information that was already available to the public, and copyright infringement for linking to videos they put on YouTube,” Linkletter wrote in his statement.
In his affidavit, Linkletter outlined his concerns about academic surveillance software, citing student anxiety, barriers that disabled students face using this type of software and discrimination as his three major concerns.
“I call it ‘academic surveillance software’ because that’s exactly what it does. It watches and records students as they take exams online. It uses secret algorithms to track so-called ‘abnormalities’ and then reports the ‘suspicion level’ for every student to their professor.”
The Ubyssey has contacted Proctorio for comment.
Linkletter said he was committed to fighting for the lawsuit’s dismissal.
“Fighting this lawsuit for over a month has cost me and my wife tens of thousands of dollars so far,” he said. “I am all in and at peace with that decision.”
Linkletter launched a GoFundMe to raise money to pay its legal fees. If Proctorio ends up paying his legal fees, Linkletter said he would donate all the money raised to the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association.