Candidate refers to Students, End users, using Synap through a Synap client or otherwise
If you have been registered to take an exam on Synap, this document outlines key information about what data is collected and why. Please read through it carefully. If you have any questions about these policies and how it relates to your data, then you should contact the institution that is responsible for organising your exam.
What is Synap?
Synap is an online exam platform, based in the UK. We provide our platform as a web-based app which schools, universities employers can use to deliver their assessments online.
How do you use my data?
It is your institution who are the primary 'controllers' of your data, and who decide on the overall policies around how personal data is used.
Synap primarily uses your data for 'essential' purposes - for example, we store your name, email address and password so that you can log in to the website, and access the correct assessments.
Like most online platforms, we also collect some technical data as you are using the platform - for example, we store your IP address, and simple information about the browser and operating system that you are using. This data is used for cybersecurity purposes and to help us monitor the website to check for things that are not working.
Sometimes, our customers (your instutition) may ask us to assist them with an issue that people are experiencing, in which case we may use the above data to help us identify and fix the issuse.
If you have been registered to take a proctored exam, then additional data is gathered. Proctoring is the remote monitoring of an online exam, usually by recording a combination of your computer screen, webcam and microphone for the duration of your exam. These exams may also require an identity check which asks you to share a photo of an identification document (such as a passport or driver's license) and to take a passport-style photo of your face via your webcam.
During a proctored exam, additional information may also be gathered about what you are doing on your computer, such as what websites you visit during the exam and your internet connection speed.
Synap's main role in this is to provide the software and to ensure that your data is collected securely and responsibly. This is something we take very seriously.
How is my data used in a proctored exam?
The primary purpose of proctoring is to prevent and detect cheating in an online exam. This means that during or after your exam, someone will review the footage provided to look for any suspicious behaviour - such as having headphones in, or opening another website. If such behaviour is detected, then it will be flagged and timestamped.
The final report is then reviewed and a decision is made as to whether the attempt can be accepted.
If you are taking an exam that is proctored by Rosalyn - our proctoring partner - then they use a "human in the loop" approach to proctoring whereby an AI algorithm monitors the footage for suspicious behaviour, and alerts a human proctor who will then review the footage and intervene if necessary. No decisions are made by the AI itself.
Final decisions on your proctoring session will most likely be made by your institution themselves, or by a trusted party they appoint to manage it on their behalf. Synap itself does not have any direct involvement with your proctoring footage, unless we have been asked by our customer to assist with the management of a particular exam, or to investigate a specific issue.
How long is my data stored for?
The decision on how long to store your data - whether that is your general account data, or detailed proctoring data from your exams - lies with your institution. You should contact them if you have any questions about it.
Where is my data stored?
Synap's primary data centers are located in Ireland (EU), on Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure. Like most online platforms, we use a handful of 3rd party tools which also process data on our behalf - for example sending automated emails, and tracking errors on our website.
Our proctoring partner, Roaslyn, is hosted in the US.
Is my data secure?
Yes. We take data security very seriously. We adhere to industry best practices, and data protection laws such as the GDPR.
- Data is encrypted in transit and at rest
- Only authorised Synap employees, who are directly managing your institution's exams, have the ability to access your data, and are only permitted to do so for specific purposes
- We do not spam and would never sell your data
What about cookies?
We do not use 'advertising' cookies.