19-608   Privacy, Policy, Law & Tech

Location: Africa

Units: 12

Semester Offered: Fall

Course description

This course focuses on policy issues related to privacy from the perspectives of governments, organizations, and individuals. We will begin with a historical and philosophical study of privacy and then explore recent public policy issues. We will examine the privacy protections provided by laws and regulations, as well as the way technology can be used to protect privacy. We will emphasize technology-related privacy concerns and mitigation, for example: social networks, smartphones, behavioral advertising (and tools to prevent targeted advertising and tracking), anonymous communication systems, big data, and drones. Programming skills are not required. This course will include a lot of reading, writing, and class discussion. Students will be able to tailor their assignments to their skills and interests, focusing more on programming or writing papers as they see fit. However, all students will be expected to do some writing and some technical work. A large emphasis will be placed on research and communication skills, which will be taught throughout the course.

Learning objectives

By the end of this course, students should:

  • Be able to discuss why privacy is important to society
  • Be familiar with the fair information practice principles as well as the privacy law and policy landscape in the United States
  • Understand the differences between privacy regulation in the US and EU, and be able to discuss different regulatory approaches to privacy
  • Be able to read, understand, and evaluate privacy policies
  • Understand the mechanics of online tracking and other technologies with privacy implications
  • Be able to communicate the privacy implications of technology with policy-makers, lawyers, and engineers

Students should be prepared to pass the IAPP Certified Information Privacy Professional exams. 

Visit the course page for more information.



Course format

Distance learning


Lujo Bauer