Students all across the Stanford community have filed a class action lawsuit against the Canvas app for cyberstalking, due to “repeated, unwanted, intrusive, and frightening communications” from the university website. The lawsuit follows widespread agreement that Canvas meets the criteria of stalking, constantly contacting students and causing “substantial emotional distress.”
Stalking, a crime of power and control, seems to be an issue for a lot of students. One student reports, “I have been getting emails from my stalker for two years now, but in the past couple of months it has gotten out of hand. I started getting emails that said things like ‘Another event has been scheduled!’ for events that I never even agreed to be a part of.! This student wished to remain anonymous but disclosed that he had even begun receiving announcements about announcements after a professor accidentally changed the settings.
Another student said, “One day I woke up to over 50 notifications. One from my grandmother asking about her dentures, and one from my ex asking “r u up,” but the rest were entirely from Canvas, and they were all titled “Grade Change” I have tried time and time again to tell Canvas that I don’t want anything to do with them, but they keep insisting that I meet with them!” The same student divulged that she interprets every assignment notification as a personal threat to her very wellbeing.
These allegations have been compounded by Canvas’s unfathomable possession of user data. Students report that Canvas somehow knows all of their grades, emails, phone numbers, friends, and credit card numbers. This amassing of personal data has caused many to feel unsafe in their own homes.
If you have personally felt victimized and stalked by Canvas, join this lawsuit by calling: