Universities around the world are trying very hard right now to find ways to balance students’ rights to privacy and dignity with difficult practical questions concerning the transition to remote teaching and testing.
Regarding testing, the reality is that cheating is a common occurrence in many places even in normal times when testing is done in the physical presence of and under the supervision of the instructor. There is little doubt that many students will take advantage of a remote testing environment in order to cheat, making the problem potentially much worse. This hurts honest students, hurts the university’s reputation, and devalues grades as a signal containing meaningful information. So, to put it very mildly, it is to everyone’s benefit that cheating be prevented to the extent possible.
All those things considered, if the choice is between a small intrusion on your privacy and closing down the university or cancelling all tests and grades, I think it’s clear that these sorts of anti-cheating measures are simply the best we can do at this moment in time, and you just have to accept this indignity as a necessary (and hopefully temporary) evil.
You can complain, but unless your complaint is accompanied by some solution to the remote testing problem that is so ingenious and innovative that it will make photographing your room unnecessary and prevent cheating at the same time, I wouldn’t expect your complaint to particularly impress anyone. Sorry, I don’t mean to sound harsh but that’s just the way it is.
Anyway, you have my sympathy. Keep in mind your professors are also stressed out and are also called on to do things many of them are uncomfortable with during this difficult time.
Edit: after thinking some more about this issue, I think a much bigger problem with these testing restrictions is that they seem to prohibit students from using the bathroom during the exam. This strikes me as a much bigger deal than the privacy intrusion, as it conflicts with basic human physiological needs, and raises significant issues of fairness and equity (as certain populations of students will find it much harder to comply with such a constraint than others). So if you are thinking of complaining, I would recommend making this the focus of your complaint rather than the privacy intrusion. It wouldn’t necessarily lead to the cancellation of the 360 degree scan requirement, but I can see a decent chance that the professor and/or university might reconsider some of the other somewhat draconian restrictions, as well as their general approach to the whole remote testing issue.
As for who to complain to, you should go through the usual channels for complaints within your institution, whatever those are (the professor, department chair, college, ombudsperson, student union, etc).
To address a few of the objections to what I wrote that were raised in the comments:
The privacy intrusion is not “small”: perhaps; it depends on your frame of reference, and in ordinary times I’d totally agree. But my point is that these aren’t ordinary times, and standards for what constitutes an acceptable level of privacy intrusion are changing out of necessity. So when I say “small” I really mean “as small as can practically be achieved while still allowing the professor to do their work at a level of effectiveness the professor considers acceptable.”
It’s not clear that the professor was required to use this method of testing. Other professors are doing things differently. I never said the professor is guided by university rules. It’s possible each professor only receives general guidance from their university and has to decide for themselves about specific rules for remote testing. As long as their decision is generally reasonable, the fact that other professors made different decisions is a very weak argument. Although a bit of consistency is a desirable thing, there is no rule that all professors must handle all situations in an identical manner.
Your argument is premised on the assumption that this method of testing can be proved to be the only effective solution to the assessment problem. Please provide proof that this is so. It’s not premised on that assumption at all. There isn’t a scientifically proven, ideal method of testing. Professors have to make real-life decisions about real-life situations and do the best they can based on their intuition and experience. They don’t all have to agree on the best way of doing something, and don’t need to have a rigorous scientific basis for any decision they make. Sometimes they even make wrong decisions. There is room to debate and question each decision, but just saying a decision is illegitimate because the person making it can’t scientifically prove that it’s the best decision is not a valid argument.
I am outraged! So am I. This situation sucks! But instead of complaining, offer workable solutions. Believe it or not, professors also do not want to see anyone’s bedroom, and would be happy to switch to an alternative system if you can simply show them one and convince them that it satisfies the need to maintain a minimum level of integrity and effectiveness in assessing students’ knowledge. Professors are not evil people trying to oppress students. They are just trying to get a job done to the best of their abilities under difficult circumstances.