CCTP-708-01 International/Comparative Privacy and Surveillance
Spring for 2016-2017
This course aims to provide students with the theoretical and policy tools to evaluate public policy issues involving information privacy and surveillance. We’ll start with a look at the utilitarian, rights-based and communitarian traditions in political philosophy as a way to understand the dispute between those in Europe who view privacy as a fundamental human right and those in the US who tend to think of it as a matter of balancing economic interests. Then we’ll set out the different privacy frameworks: fair information practices, the harm framework and privacy as contextual integrity. One theme will be the extent to which privacy frameworks need to evolve with changes in technology. We’ll look at the groundbreaking work on privacy as contextual integrity from Helen Nissenbaum, Privacy in Context, and review the U.S. legal background with Daniel Solove’s book Understanding Privacy. We will examine the single comprehensive regulatory scheme developed and recently updated in the European Union and contrast it with the U.S. sectoral privacy regime, examining U.S. sectoral privacy rules for financial information, medical information, and student information, and broadband providers. We’ll look challenges to the flow of personal information across borders in light of these differences in local privacy regimes. We’ll cover the conflict between privacy and free speech, and look at how privacy rules need to be rethought to take into account the realities of big data analytics. Finally, we cover government surveillance, including NSA surveillance, using Solove’s text, Nothing to Hide, as background and reviewing current legal cases. We finish with the encryption debate – whether government can compel third-parties to provide access to encrypted material.
The following syllabi may help you learn more about this course (login required):
Fall '16: MacCarthy, M (description, file download)
Additional syllabi may be available in prior academic years.
Other academic years
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