As part of my MSc, I have to take an online exam. Obviously, this means I am highly likely to cheat by looking up things on Wikipedia or by having a bit of paper with notes on it. EVIL!
So, the exam body requires me to install ProctorU. It's a service which lets someone watch you through your laptop camera while you do the exam. Creepy, but I get it. They also want to see your screen to make sure you're not alt-tabbing. A bit grim, but I get it. They also want complete control over your laptop, including the ability to silently transfer files and run arbitrary programs. LOL WAT?!?
Here's the "helpful" video showing what's involved. It is a 6 minute long privacy invasion.
But, OK, there's no way my employer (the Government) is going to let me install this malware on their machine. No worries, I'll use one of my Linux laptops. After all, I am doing an exam all about Linux security! Let's check their system requirements.
Soooo… No Linux, no Chromebook, no Android tablet. I can't even spin up a Windows VM?
The thing is, the training provider - which sells these courses to businesses - know that most business laptops won't allow ProctorU's spyware on them. It's just too risky. Their solution?
And if you don't have a personal Mac or Windows machine?
Any of you want to lend me a laptop so I can install invasive spyware on it? No? Didn't think so!
I asked the course provider what options they had for me - and I'm waiting to hear back. It looks like I can go to one of their regulated test centres and take the exam there.
Hmmm - spyware on my computer, or catch COVID from a shared PC? Choices… Choices…