I received the same PM, just now.
Regarding research ethics, a lot depends on what happens with the research.
If it's really just a class assignment and never goes past the instructor's desk, then the standards of research ethics are slightly less stringent. The student doesn't have to get her research protocol approved by the IRB.
If it's intended for publication, then, yes, nothing short of full IRB approval, formalized consent procedures, and so on, are in order.
There is a gray area, as student projects sometimes end up on YouTube or other online outlets . . . an in-between form of publication.
In any case, yes, I agree, this student needs to be up-front about her intentions and about the nature of the research project. I've PMed her back, telling her so.