Pearson VUE Biometric Data Policy
Pearson VUE, a business of NCS Pearson, Inc.(“Pearson”), is a global computer-based testing company that is committed to respecting the privacy of its test candidates while ensuring the security of test content and the integrity of test results. As part of this effort, where elected by a test sponsor, Pearson utilizes processes that offer a comprehensive level of integrity and security for those test programs that wish to use this technology that is quick and easy to use.
When directed to do so by your test sponsor, Pearson relies upon palm vein scans and/or comparisons of facial geometry and data that may be generated by those processes (“Biometric Data”) to verify a test taker’s identity (“Biometric Verification”). The purpose of Biometric Verification is to ensure the integrity of the testing process by verifying a test-taker’s identity and identifying proxy test takers who impersonate others or use assumed identities to take tests outside the windows allowed by the sponsor (including to become familiar with the test content). Testing integrity requires Pearson to retain some Biometric Data longer than the duration of the test that led to its collection because this purpose concerns the integrity of future tests as well. Biometric Data is retained by Pearson as long as deemed necessary by the test sponsor. If you took a test at a test center In Illinois, or if you provided an Illinois address during registration for an Online Proctored Test that utilized a facial comparison, Pearson will not retain Biometric Data for more than three (3) years after your last interaction with Pearson and will permanently destroy it after the expiration of that period, unless otherwise required by law.
Pearson will not sell, lease, trade, or otherwise profit from Biometric Data used to identify you. Pearson may disclose Biometric Data to the test sponsor for purposes consistent with this Policy, and to third parties involved in supporting or providing Biometric Verification services for Pearson, based upon your having provided advance consent, as well as when required by law or pursuant to a valid warrant, subpoena, or court order.
Palm Vein Scan: Not every testing program uses the palm vein scan as part of their admittance procedures. An individual who wishes to take a test which uses palm vein scans (“Applicable Test”) simply places their hand on a device that uses sensors with palm vein scanning technology. This device works by scanning the veins inside of your hand using a safe, near-infrared light source like that in a TV remote control. Data points, or measuring points, from the scan are immediately converted through a proprietary software program to a unique mathematical representation of that data, which is encrypted and saved in a template (“Template”). This technology does not actually collect or store images of the palm veins or scan.
Each individual who wishes to take an Applicable Test will have their palm scanned when they arrive at the testing center to check-in for the test. To verify an individual’s identity, that individual’s Template will be compared with the Template assigned to the individual (should one exist from a prior exam), and again when he/she returns to the testing room after a break. Lastly, if, in its sole discretion, the test sponsor deems it necessary to investigate or otherwise audit test results, each individual’s Template may be compared with those of other individuals who have taken, or are taking, an Applicable Test, to allow Pearson or the test sponsor to determine whether individuals may have tested under multiple names. After an individual finishes taking the Applicable Test, their Template is stored in Pearson VUE’s central hub. That individual’s Template is then kept separately from other information about that individual in the system. Any individual who wishes to take an Applicable Test will be required, as a condition of taking the examination, to agree to Pearson’s use of the palm scanning technology, and the Biometric Data which results, as described here.
The Templates or Biometric Data derived from your palm vein scans will only be retained for as long as they are needed as directed by the exam sponsor. If you take a test at a testing center in Illinois, Pearson will not retain your Template or Biometric Data for more than three (3) years after your last interaction with Pearson and will permanently destroy it after the expiration of that period, unless otherwise required by law.
During the retention period specified above, the Templates from the palm vein scanning system will be kept by Pearson. Pearson may disclose the Templates or Biometric Data to the test sponsor for purposes consistent with this Policy, and other third parties involved in supporting or providing Biometric Verification services for Pearson, based upon your having provided advance consent, as well as when required by law or pursuant to a valid warrant or valid subpoena.
Facial Comparison: For our Online Proctored Tests, where required by your test sponsor, Pearson VUE uses a process called facial comparison to facilitate the check-in process and validate the identity of the test candidate. This process compares the facial geometry of faces in two photographs to determine if they match. This process works by comparing two photographs of the test candidate – usually a photograph of the test candidate at the time of the test (“Candidate Photograph”) and the photograph on the form of identification that the user has submitted (“ID Photograph”). The purpose of this is to confirm that the person who is checking in for the exam is the same person on the submitted form of identification. In the event that the process is not able to confirm that the photographs are of the same person, the photographs are passed forward to a human to make a final determination.
The photographs are submitted via TLS encrypted HTTP protocol to a third party that conducts a comparison in real time without retaining either of the photographs or any data generated by or derived from the facial comparison process. Pearson provides the third party only the two photographs and the third party returns to Pearson its assessment of whether the two photographs are of the same person (“Assessment”).After the facial comparison check is completed, the ID Photograph and Assessment are deleted, while the Candidate Photograph is stored by Pearson along with the candidate’s testing record.
Pearson may disclose the Assessment or Biometric Data to the test sponsor for purposes consistent with this Policy, and may disclose/receive the Assessment or Biometric Data to/from other third parties involved in supporting or providing Biometric Verification services for Pearson, based upon your having provided advance consent, as well as when required by law or pursuant to a valid warrant or valid subpoena.
This Policy is intended to comply with all federal, state, and local laws, and will be interpreted and applied in order to comply with all applicable laws, including but not limited to, the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. If any provision of this Pearson VUE Biometric Data Policy or any part thereof contravenes any law, or if the operation of any provision hereof is determined by law or otherwise to be unenforceable, then such offending provision or part thereof shall be severed and the remaining provisions given full force and effect. If you have any questions about this Policy, please contact Pearson VUE at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Revision Date: February 1, 2023