Apple’s Touch Bar-Enabled MacBook Pro Is Barred from Bar Exams
Apple has called its MacBook Pro with Touch Bar “revolutionary.” But several state bar associations are concerned that the laptop computer’s Touch Bar software may actually be used by would-be lawyers to cheat on their bar exams.
Bar associations in California, New York, and Colorado will ban MacBook Pro’s with Touch Bar starting next month. Software company ExamSoft, which makes digital bar exam tests, published a note on its site last week explaining to test takers and administrators how to turn off the Touch Bar.
“Exam Administrators will want to ensure that the newest feature included with some MacBook Pro’s is disabled before a student begins their exam,” the page reads. “By default, the Touch Bar will show predictive text depending on what the student is typing, compromising exam integrity.”
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It’s unclear why ExamSoft and several state bar associations are concerned about the Touch Bar. Apparently, the feature can be used to cheat, but ExamSoft didn’t say exactly how and whether anyone has actually done so. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Test takers are allowed to use other computers during the bar exam. Policies vary as to whether they can go online during testing.
Apple AAPL unveiled its new MacBook Pro in October. The Touch Bar sits above the keyboard and replaces function keys, like the volume, escape, and other keys, found in traditional keyboards. In its place, users can interact with the touchscreen and be automatically presented optional functions they can turn on based on what is on the screen.
Some developers have found ways to modify the Touch Bar, including getting video games like Doom to be played through the feature.
The ExamSoft warning, reported earlier by Apple-tracking site AppleInsider, came as state bar associations issued guidance to test takers about how they can use Touch Bar-equipped MacBook Pros.
North Carolina, for instance, will allow test takers to bring the Touch Bar with them to the exam, but they must show proof that the feature has been disabled. Colorado, California, and New York have banned the devices entirely from exam rooms.
Apple did not immediately respond to a Fortune request for comment about the bar exam troubles.