LAW 484

Information Privacy and Data Protection

Technology & the Law

This course is an introduction to information privacy and data protection law and policy. Governments and every sector of the economy collect, use, store, and share personal data. The headlines mirror the ubiquity of data use; nearly every day there is a new story about government surveillance, location tracking, identity theft, corporate data breaches, predictive analytics, and artificial intelligence. As these concerns have grown, so has the law surrounding them, including the paradigm-shifting U.S. v. Carpenter case, EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, and the California Consumer Privacy Act, all of these since 2018.

The course combines a practical approach to the daily problems that a privacy lawyer will face with the theory necessary to understand how the law is developing. We will cover the constitutional, statutory, and common law rules of privacy, as well as federal and state enforcement activity. We will learn about the policy questions arising from data-driven technologies, the theory behind them, and the questions to ask when assessing information practices. We will also examine privacy and data protection law through a critical lens, asking how the concepts interact with questions of discrimination, poverty, due process, and justice.

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