Emerging Innovations in Cheating Detection in Online Educational and Workplace Contexts: Social Dimensions of Dishonesty Surveillance

Wednesday, 18 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Jo Ann ORAVEC, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Madison, USA
A growing number of research and application initiatives involve the detection of cheating and deception using biometrics along with various demographic characteristics and behavioral patterns. For example, gesture and keystroke analyses are increasingly incorporated into cheating detection efforts in online education; they are also used in predicting and detecting deception in workplace settings and some border security checks. The use of brain scans and other forms of neural analysis in dishonesty detection is also being explored in research and development agendas. The fact that one often cannot prove that someone is indeed cheating or deceiving even with a confession adds uncertainty to the system development efforts involved. Since the ramifications of being labeled as potential "cheaters" and "deceivers" may be severe and continuing, conscientious attention to the sociological and ethical issues engendered by these initiatives is imperative for system researchers, developers, and implementers. Constructions of cheating can differ among systems, possibly resulting in anxieties and cognitive dissonance in subjects (often children) as well as confusions for individuals called upon to interpret system-produced data. Many of the hand gestures associated with deception are related to intimate personal expression involving critical judgement and ethical decision making; influencing these expressions could lead to disruption of the subjects’ moral consideration of the situations involved. Social and legal questions about educational applications of these technologies include considerations of whether children as subjects should be given particular protection. Currently, many developers of cheating-related approaches in education are third-party organizations not directly affiliated with educational institutions, the latter which are generally bound by specific privacy and children’s welfare constraints. The presentation reviews several historical perspectives on the dangers of the use of polygraphs in social settings; the implications of new forms of deception detection in everyday organizations present new and comparably frightening challenges.